Divorced parents in Florida may have heard about international abductions and felt anxious about allowing their children to travel internationally with their ex-spouses. This may be particularly true if the exes have families or other ties abroad. However, there are a number of things parents can do to keep their children safer.
An attorney may be able to assist parents in making agreements with ex-spouses that will address some of their concerns. For example, the parent traveling abroad can be required to post a surety bond with the court. The bond will normally be in the amount that would be needed to pursue the case through international legal channels should the parent refuse to return the child. The parent would also be required to note the destination and duration of the trip. Parents may also wish to specify how their children will communicate with them while in another country and how often. Regular communication can help to ensure that parents in the United States are aware of changing circumstances that might leave their children in danger of being kept abroad by the other parent.
Some parents may not want their children to leave the country with the other spouse at all or may be concerned that the children will be taken out of the country without their knowledge. The U.S. State Department's Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program addresses this concern. While one parent may sometimes be able to apply for a child's passport following a divorce, signing up with this program ensures that the other parent will be notified about a passport application.
For parents, understanding the risks and communicating with their children and ex-spouses is important. Many of these issues may be dealt with while establishing child custody, and the parents' attorneys might be able to work out satisfactory solutions.
Source: Forbes, "Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband", Jeff Landers, May 06, 2014