After you divorce from your spouse, you will be in a situation that is becoming more common: Your child will have family in both the United States and abroad. Your spouse may want to return to their home country and take your child there for vacations or business trips, but you could have some concerns about that.
You want your child to know your ex-spouse’s family, but you also want to keep them safe. How can you allow them to build solid international relationships while still staying safe?
3 tips to help with international custody issues
A few different things can help make international custody visits and interactions easier on a U.S.-based parent. These include:
- Being communicative with your ex and child both in the U.S. and outside of the country
- Having a strong custody plan with emergency numbers and international contact information
- Participating in making plans for international visits
Here’s more about each of these tips.
- Be communicative about your fears
The first thing to do is to be clear about how you feel about your child traveling abroad. Depending on their age, you may think they’re too young to travel such a long distance from home or be worried that they will quickly become homesick. Talk to the other parent about your concerns, so you can work those out before booking a trip.
- Build up a strong international custody plan
Your custody plan should indicate when it is or is not acceptable for your child to leave the country. You should also include international contact information and emergency numbers.
- Participate in planning activities
Finally, participate in planning activities. If your ex-spouse is taking your child to Mexico for a week, help them plan the trip if you can. You’ll know more about the itinerary and what to expect, which can put your mind at ease.
In most cases where parents are from two different countries, both recognize that they must take their child to and from these countries safely, on time and with permission. If you fear that your child will be kidnapped or prevented from returning, let your attorney know.