New Jersey parents may have heard about international abductions in the news. These stories often involve divorced couples and their children. In many cases, an ex-spouse with international ties travels abroad with the kids only to remain there and renege on both the divorce settlement agreement and the American legal system that upholds it. This nightmare issue has grown since technological advances in transportation and communication have made the globe smaller. Yet, according to authorities on divorce, a number of measures exist that can help worried ex-spouses prevent such a familial kidnapping.
Parents who either do not wish their children to travel internationally without them or who are concerned about their children being taken out of the country without their consent may sign up for the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program. This program from the U.S. Department of State ensures that both parents must be notified and give consent before a child’s passport application is approved.
Parents may consult with a family attorney on child-custody arrangements that include provisions to address the concern of international abduction. For example, they may draft an arrangement on how children are to communicate with them when the children travel outside of the United States. They may also require that the other parent post a bond with the court before taking the children abroad. The bond would cover the costs necessary to fight a legal battle for the children’s return if they were displaced to another country. In addition, the parent taking the children out of the country would need to state where the children were going and for how long.
Even in amicable splits, parents may wish to specify arrangements regarding children’s travel. In the least, discussing these issues as part of parental agreements may be helpful in allaying parents’ fears.
Source: Forbes, “Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband“, Jeff Landers, May 06, 2014