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Colorado Custody Agreements and Children’s Passports

Saturday, 19 June 2010

blog-logoWhether you are the custodial or non-custodial parent, traveling overseas with children after a divorce can be a real headache.  Even traveling to some Caribbean destinations requires a passport, but getting a passport isn’t always easy.  For children under 16, this means both parents must give their consent.  When divorced or separated parents get along well, this may not be much of a problem.  But it can be a legal nightmare for those who don’t. If you are battling with your ex for permission to travel internationally with your children, talking to a Colorado Springs family lawyer can help. 

A well-drafted parenting plan will usually address the issues of international travel and passports for children, as long as each parent provides the other with adequate notice and a travel itinerary.  However, if your Colorado parenting plan excludes this language you could end up in family court. 


One scenario that often comes up in these disputes, and causes tempers to flare, is when the traveling parent is involved in a new relationship and plans to travel with the children and their new partner.  This raises questions about sleeping arrangements and whether children will be forced to share a room with their parent’s new partner. 

Another reason the non-traveling parent will refuse to give his or her consent for a child’s passport is when they fear parental kidnapping.  This fear is not entirely unfounded, since many parents attempt to leave the country with children every year.  Once a child is outside of the United States, it can be very difficult – if not impossible – to track them down.

If your parenting plan doesn’t address the issue of international travel with your children, it can be amended to include this language.  But keep in mind, if your children are under the age of 16, both parents will still need to appear before a passport officer to sign the application.  If you feel your children should not be allowed to travel internationally with their other parent, or your ex is refusing to sign a passport application, a Colorado Springs family lawyer can help.

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