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Considering International Travel During Divorce? Talk to your Attorney First

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Part of divorce is reimagining a new life for yourself and your family.  In Maryland, be sure you speak with an experienced divorce lawyer before you start drawing up travel or moving plans.

If you are involved in divorce, or thinking about it, your children are a part of those plans.  When children are grown and on their own, your decision to move or travel out of the country has little impact.  If you travel with your minor children, it is a different story.

Shared custody means avoiding actions that would deprive the other parent of rights they are granted in a divorce decree.  If you are in the midst of a divorce, especially a contentious divorce, the Court may make custody decisions about your children.  It is never wise to decide you will travel abroad, or relocate to another jurisdiction without the approval of the Court during a divorce.

As communities grow more diverse and international travel and relocation become common, your divorce will play an important part in your future plans.  Instability is a normal aspect of divorce as a couple and children take small steps toward a different future.  But when the drama of divorce is not well-contained through effective legal counsel, unfortunate actions taken by parents can impact their divorce—and their children—for years to come.

In families with shared custody of minor children, obtaining consent from the other parent before traveling internationally makes good sense. While your children are minors, Maryland Courts have jurisdiction over the residency of your children.

In the midst of divorce, the Court can evaluate parents, their attitudes, and actions as it considers the best interests of your children.  Should you decide to leave the country with your minor children without the consent of an estranged parent, you could risk legal action and a custody decision that does not turn in your favor.

Alternatively, if you are co-parenting with a parent who maintains citizenship in another country, consider speaking with an experienced Baltimore divorce attorney about concerns you may have about your ex-partner removing your children to a foreign country.

The US Department of State offers tips for preventing abduction of children from the US to other countries.  Some of those tips include the following:

  • Be alert to changes that signal the other parent may be planning to leave the country with your children. A sudden wrapping up of business, quitting a job, selling a home, or speaking with your children about an upcoming big trip could be tip-offs that the other parent may be planning to leave the country.
  • Work with an experienced divorce attorney to help you navigate the legal system to obtain a court order that restricts travel and addresses passports of minor children. You can register through the State Department to receive an alert if your child is issued a passport or if their passport is renewed without your knowledge.   The US does not have checks or controls that require two-parent consent for your child to leave the country.

Divorce raises questions, concerns, and hopes about the future.  When you are wondering about options for you and your children, talk to a knowledgeable divorce attorney in Baltimore.

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The Law Offices of Allyson B. Goldscher, LLC delivers skilled, personalized legal service and strong legal representation on matters of divorce, child support, and custody. Call us at 410-602-9522 for trusted information and advice.