International travel in the wake of divorce
For Illinois parents who are able, allowing a child to travel abroad can be beneficial for development and understanding of the world. In some cases, a child may wish to travel with a parent who is divorced. For parents who have split amicably and still trust one another, this might not present much of a problem. In some cases, though, there may be a risk - or at least a perceived risk - of the traveling parent failing to return the child. The non-traveling parent may object to travel plans, but he or she does not always have the power to deny the opportunity. However, there are ways that non-traveling parents can help ensure that children return safely after trips abroad.
U.S. child custody laws are virtually unenforceable in other countries absent a treaty, and deliberate abductions of children by one parent do happen periodically. Trying to obtain the return of the abducted child usually costs a significant amount of money. For this reason, the ne exeat surety bond has become popular. The traveling parent posts the bond along with an explanation of when the child will be brought back. The bond is in the amount of the approximate cost of the legal fees that the custodial parent would incur if the traveling parent does not return with the child by the stipulated time.
A simple way to keep tabs on the trip is for parents to make sure they can communicate with the traveling child on a daily basis. This allows for check-ins to determine if the trip itinerary is being followed. If non-traveling parents are concerned despite other measures being taken, establishing a good working relationship with a family law attorney may be helpful. This can expedite processes if something unexpected is to happen.
For parents who have just been through divorce, it can be trying to entrust a child to the care of an ex. However, by taking precautions, a parent may be able to reduce the stress for everyone.
Source: Forbes, "Take Precautions Before Your Children Travel Internationally With Your Ex-Husband", Jeff Landers, May 06, 2014