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Can my ex just take our kid overseas?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2023 | Divorce Law

These days, you cannot turn on the television without seeing images of international travel. It is incorporated into almost every show, scripted and reality alike. This has led many to seek international employment or try moving internationally to find their roots. This can be a wonderful journey, but not so much if an ex tries to take your kids with them on this journey.

Can my ex just take our kid overseas?

Usually, not legally, but that does not mean that anyone will stop them.

It is important to understand two things about living in the United States as it relates to an ex taking your child overseas.

First, our country does not have exit controls. This means that, even if the police want to stop someone from leaving the country, there is no easy way for them to do it.

Second, the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act usually requires a court order for law enforcement to intervene in an international child abduction.

This is often true, even if there is some language added to a divorce decree about not allowing international travel.

What do I do?

If you think that your spouse is about to take your kid out of the country, you need to call your attorney. They can work with you to get you an emergency court order. This court order can then be used to get law enforcement and transportation company (i.e., airline, bus, etc.) help to stop your ex’s travel with your child.

Self help

Unfortunately, parental abduction is not something where you can just wait on the police to find your child. You need to help as well.

Part of what you need to do is gather your court order and proof of parentage. Then, you need to start contacting transportation companies, starting with airline companies, since this is typically how people travel internationally.

Talk with the airline’s corporate security officer. Find out if your child has a ticket, and if so, get their travel itinerary. Call the police and find out if they want to set up a sting or to cancel the ticket. Follow their advice and the advice of your attorney.