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Can my ex take our child international?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2023 | Child Custody

A scan of any dating website or app will show that the one trait that we all seem to share is a love of travel. However, that does not mean that a divorced Memphis, Tennessee, parent can take their children internationally on a whim.

Limited area of travel

Indeed, most divorce decrees and child custody plans have specific language that relate to where children can be taken. Usually, it is restricted to the state where the couple divorced. If one parent wants to travel outside the state, they will generally need permission from the other spouse, the court or both. And, if they want to travel internationally, they will definitely need approval from both unless they already have approval to travel internationally from the Memphis, Tennessee, family law judge.

What if a parent is abducting your child?

First, the United States Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs is open 24 hours a day, every day. Contact them immediately. Their job is to help in international abductions by any party, including Memphis, Tennessee, parents and legal guardians.

Judicial intervention

Call your family law attorney. They can help you get a Memphis, Tennessee, court order because most law enforcement agencies will want a court order before they will interfere with your ex-spouse’s departure. Indeed, in some cases, the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act requires a court order.

Law enforcement intervention

Once you have a court order, you can get law enforcement help. They can stop a potential international parental child abduction by stopping them at ports of exit, like border crossings, plane stations, train stations, etc. They can also enter your child’s information into the National Crime Information Center, which will alert state troopers and highway patrol officers.

Contact airlines and airport police directly

You may assume that the United States government has some sort of exit controls, but we do not, and even if you have a court order and law enforcement knows what is happening, your ex-spouse may still be able to abscond with your child. This is why you and your attorney should still call the airlines and airport police directly to let them know about your Memphis, Tennessee, court orders. For the airlines, ask to speak with their corporate security officers, and be ready to prove your parental relationship. Ask if they have reservations in your child’s name. And, let law enforcement know too.