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Can I take my child out of the USA on vacation this summer?

On Behalf of | Jun 18, 2024 | Child Custody

If you’re a divorced parent here in New Jersey, you may be dreaming about a summer jaunt to Europe, the Caribbean or some other exotic locale. In fact, anywhere other than under the current heat dome over the northeastern part of the country.

But as a divorced parent, must you seek your co-parent’s permission?

Letters of permission typically are required

International child abduction rings are real threats, so the United States government typically requires both legal guardians and solo parents to prove their relationship to the child(ren) with whom they are traveling.

Be prepared to present original or certified copies of birth certificates. In cases of divorce and shared custody, the other parent usually must consent and put that consent in writing in what is referred to as a letter of permission.

What if my ex won’t agree?

Travel opens minds and broadens horizons by exposing adults and children to different cultures. It allows them to explore artworks, museums and some of the most iconic sites around the globe. In general, it is a very positive experience for those lucky enough to afford the trips.

But some parents may have concerns about their kids going half a world away from them. After all, there are inherent risks with travel, even though they are a rarity. If your ex lands firmly on the “no” side of the permission quandary what are your options?

Mediation and litigation

Many parental quagmires can be ironed out sufficiently through mediation. There, each side can express their fears and opinions and try to hash out a reasonable compromise. Failing that, parents can always petition the New Jersey family law courts to rule on the matter.


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