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Taking a Child Out of the Country after Divorce

Custody of the child is determined during a divorce by establishing which parent's living situation is in the best interest of the child. Florida uses a concept of time-sharing, where the child will physically reside with one parent but be provided with ample visitation with the other parent. These time-sharing and custody agreements often stipulate exact criteria for vacations or the removal of a child from the country.

Florida law generally allows for a parent to take the child on vacation when they already have physical custody. For example, if a parent has a child in the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve, the child would be able to take a vacation with the parent.

Do you have more questions about custody? View our information page and schedule your free consultation for the legal help you need.

International Travel Restrictions

Restrictions on international travel are often included in a custody decree in order to prevent one parent from running away with the child. If criteria is not met, the parent that removed the child from the country may be charged with kidnapping. If your former spouse may be a flight risk, a judge can establish a special protection to restrict moving the child from the state or country.

In joint custody agreements, one parent is able to oppose decisions the other parent makes for the child. International travel is included. If parent wants to take a child abroad and the other parent is objecting, they must get a court order. If the parent approves international travel, a notarized Letter of Consent must be obtained to avoid problems with travel as per federal law.

Obtaining a Passport for a Child Under 16

In order for a child under the age of 16 to obtain a passport, both parents must provide evidence of their parentage and must be present to apply for the child's passport. If both parents cannot appear, a letter of consent can be signed. If a parent has sole custody of the child, documents must be present to prove custody. A parent can deny a passport by not appearing or signing consent documents for the other parent.

If a parent removes a child from the country without the consent of the other, an international child abduction case can be opened with local police and federal officials. Federal officials will begin taking action while local police will enter the child's information into a federal database. A family law attorney should be consulted to help enforce the custody agreement and make legal moves towards the other parent.

We know that divorce law can be confusing. Our Tampa child custody lawyers have answers to your common questions. For further concerns, contact our team today!