Can I Bring My Child Out of the Country?

Can I Bring My Child Out of the Country

You have always enjoyed traveling and you want your child to have that same love. But are you allowed to take your child out of the United States? Do you need to tell your child’s other parent that you are traveling? There are many questions around bringing your child out of the country in Texas.

Texas law surrounding traveling out of the country with your child are pretty clear. In most cases, parents can travel internationally with their children during their time with them. This means that, you can travel with your children whenever you like. If your former spouse has visitation or time with the children, you cannot travel with the children during your former spouse’s time.

When and Where Can You Travel with Your Child?

You can travel any time your child is with you. You may also be able to travel anywhere you like. If your former spouse gets visitation with the child, you cannot take the child out of the country during that time.

However, if your former spouse agrees to go off the possession schedule, you may be able to travel with your child during their time with the child. If you travel with the child during their time, and your former spouse did not agree, they may be able to petition the court to have the child returned. They may also use it to petition the court to try to change the custody agreement.

What Do You Need to Tell the Non-Traveling Parent?

Texas custody orders have standard international travel provisions that apply when there are not specific travel provisions written into the custody order. This means that if you did not request specific travel provisions, the standard provisions apply.

The standard provisions require that you provide the other parent with:

  • Any consent forms that the other country or countries require (this is to ensure that you do not get stuck in a foreign country because you are unable to prove you can legally travel with the child).
  • The date, time, and location that the child is leaving the United States and returning to the United States.
  • A reasonable description of the transportation, including the names of carriers, flight numbers, and scheduled arrival and departure times.
  • A reasonable description of each destination, including the name, address, and phone number.
  • The dates the child is arriving and departing each destination.
  • Complete statements of any parts of the intended travel when the traveling parent will not accompany the child.
  • The names, permanent and mailing addresses, and work and home phone numbers of all other people accompanying the child other than the traveling parent

Within 10 days, the non-traveling parent needs to sign and return any forms necessary for the child to travel. If the non-traveling parent has the child’s passport, they must also provide it with the other paperwork.

How Do You Get a Passport for Your Child?

The requirements to get a passport state that children under age 16 must have both parents present to consent to a passport. If you have the exclusive right to get a child’s passport, you should be able to present the custody order and get the passport without the other parent. For those ages 16 and 17, only one parent needs to know that the child is applying for a U.S. passport.

In both cases, Form DS-11 must be filled out. Parents must have ID to prove their citizenship, and must provide proof of citizenship for the child. Most parents use a birth certificate to provide proof of citizenship. The birth certificate can also serve as proof of the parental relationship to the child.

If your former spouse is unwilling to let your child get a passport, and your custody order does not allow you to get the passport with only your consent, you may need to file a petition with the court. This petition would request a modification to your order that allows you to get your child’s passport without the other parent’s consent.

Do You Want to Ensure You Are Legally Traveling Internationally with Your Child?

If you have plans to bring your child out of the country, and want to be sure you’re allowed, a lawyer may be able to help. A lawyer may also be able to assist if you are concerned about your former spouse attempting to take your child out of the country. For more information about your particular situation, schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Texas child custody law attorney.