International Travel in a Co-Parenting Situation

children traveling internationally in a co-parenting agreement

If you’re able to travel abroad, it can be an exciting and adventure-packed time for you and your family.

But if you’re separated or divorced, it may be difficult to reach an agreement with your co-parent as it relates to international travel with your children.

This is why most Parenting Plans and/or Court Orders contain specific language about “out-of-state/out-of-country” travel.children traveling internationally in a co-parenting agreement

Before booking those flights for the trip of a lifetime, it is important to undergo these steps:

Step 1: Review your Parenting Plan / Court Order

First and foremost, review your Parenting Plan and/or Court Order ahead of time to review any provisions related to international travel and familiarize yourself with notification requirements and consent provisions in place, if any.

In Arizona, most Parenting Plans have terms that state neither parent shall remove the child/children from the country without the prior written approval of the other parent but that neither parent may unreasonably withhold approval for the children to travel outside of the country.

Step 2: Seek Consent from the Other Parent

When seeking written approval from the other parent for international travel, create an itinerary with proposed travel dates, flight information, hotel and accommodations, etc.

Be prepared to address international medical care and other safety concerns with your co-parent.

Keep records of all communications with the other party, particularly ones evidencing their consent for the travel, in case of future challenges and last-minute disputes.

Step 3: Obtain Necessary Travel Documentation

When traveling internationally, the parent who is taking the child out of the country must have the minor child’s passport well in advance of the travel date.

Be sure to research visa requirements for the destination county and complete any necessary documentation, if any, within the timeframe allotted.

Communication When Traveling Internationally

When traveling internationally with minor children, both parents must keep their line of communication open in case of an emergency.

Popular communication platforms include shared calendars, messaging apps (i.e., WhatsApp), or co-parenting websites (i.e., Our Family Wizard) to stay in touch.

If you have any questions about your Parenting Plan and/or Court Order regarding international travel, make sure to consult one of our experienced Family Law Attorneys at Owens & Perkins. You can schedule a consultation by calling or texting us at 480.994.8824.