Federal guidelines on international travel for children are meant to protect divorced parents in Texas and other states from having their children taken by their exes. According to federal law, both parents need to be present when children get their passports, or individuals with sole custody need to show proof of their custody arrangement. When two parents take their children to get passports, they need to show proof that they are legally the parents of any juveniles 16 years old and under. Parents not traveling with their children must provided notarized consent for their children to leave the country.
Federal guidelines protect both parents from having their children abducted by their exes and taken to another country. The laws were put in place because a number of divorced parents have gone through international searches and court battles after the relocation of their children without their consent.
One type of protection that exists, ‘Ne Exeat” bonds hold one parent responsible for the safe return of their children to their country of residence. When using this type of bond, the mother or father leaving the country with the children must give detailed information about the length and destination of the trip and pay an amount that corresponds to how much their exes would incur in legal fees if they had to go through a legal battle to get their children back. Through the United States’ Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program, parents can have the government alert them if their exes try to obtain passports for their children without their consent.
Having notarized documentation and children’s birth certificates while traveling can help parents to have an easier time getting into other countries with their children. Divorced parents need to work with each other to secure important paperwork well before one of them travels with their children. Parents who need assistance with notarized documentation or bonds may want to get assistance from an attorney with experience in family law.
Source: Forbes, “Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband“, Jeff Landers, May 06, 2014