international travel, is one of the more highly contested parts of a
divorce. In an international city like Houston, many of the people in our community
have family living in other parts of the world and part of their life
is traveling back and forth in order to visit and spend time together.
Maybe you are one of these people who spend a lot of time in airplanes
with your family, traveling to the country where you or your spouse grew
up in order to see your extended families. There are not a lot of issues
with this while you are married. However, once a divorce is started the
situation begins to get a little more complex.
If you are contemplating a divorce, you can breathe a little easier knowing
that in most cases the spouses are able to come together and agree on
the terms of their divorce including international travel provisions.
Mediation is a setting in which an independent, third party attorney is paid by
both parties to help them arrive at a mutually agreed to settlement.
The terms of that
mediated settlement agreement will then be written in their
final decree of divorce. This avoids having to go to court and can dramatically reduce the levels
of stress and anxiety associated with having a judge decide important issues.
Unfortunately, your divorce may not be one in which a straightforward settlement
on the subject of international travel for your children may be reached.
If you have concerns about the safety of the country where your spouse
intends to travel with your child or whether or not your spouse will return
home to the United States at all then this blog post is for you to learn
more about this subject.
Passport issues and divorce
It is not uncommon for issues surrounding passports to arise during a divorce.
The majority of the time in a divorce both parents are named
joint managing conservators and in order for a child to get a
passport permission to do so must be first granted by both parents. The tricky
part then is what can happen if you would provide consent for your child
to get a passport but your ex spouse objects.
At this point a judge would get involved in the process and can order that
a passport applied for and received over the objection of your ex spouse
be turned over to the court for safekeeping until a resolution on the
subject can be obtained. If after a hearing the judge determines either
you or your spouse are better equipped to keep possession of the passport,
then an order may be made to that effect.
Concerns with your ex spouse leaving the country for good
Past clients of the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan have shared their concerns with me regarding their ex spouse being able
to obtain a passport for your child and then leave the country with no
intent to return. In a situation like this it likely that a judge would
not order you to sign any documents pertaining to the passport. If your
spouse has a limited history of being in the United States and/or has
dual citizenship with another country then the judge may believe that
the risk is too great to order you to sign a document that applies for
your child’s passport.
Your judge may also choose to restrict international travel as to where,
when and how long each trip may last. Judges have the ability to make
decisions and issue orders that are in the
best interests of your child. By the same token, if the judge feels that it is in the
best interest of the child to travel according to the desires of you or
your spouse, then the judge can issue an order that requires you to sign
an application for a passport, turn over a passport to the court or to
have you or your ex spouse keep possession of the passport.
A past client’s story regarding international travel
A prior client of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan had many of the aforementioned
issues hit home when, during her divorce, her husband made it known to
her that he was going to travel home to a country in the middle east with
their three year old daughter. The backstory here is that her husband
had attempted to travel internationally with their daughter in the prior
year as well with the intent not to return for an extended period of time.
What complicates the issue further is that in this particular middle eastern
country women do not have the right to travel by themselves and cannot
do as much as a result to protect their children if an international
abduction situation were to occur.
The end result was that one of our attorneys had to file a request for an
emergency hearing with the court that needed to be set on the day prior to the husband and
child’s intended departure date. Our office was able to work with
this client to learn all the facts of the situation so that a clear and
concise message could be communicated to the judge about the risk to the
Ultimately the child’s passport was held by the judge until after
the divorce had concluded. In the Final Decree of Divorce, strict language
was inserted that allowed our client to keep a great deal of control over
the type of international travel that the husband and child could participate in.
International Travel concerns in your divorce? Contact the Law Office of
If anything you’ve read in this blog post hits close to home then
please consider contacting the
Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed
family law attorneys have worked with clients who have concerns just like yours regarding
their children and international travel. We offer free of charge consultations
six days a week and would be honored to listen to you and help answer
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Children's Passports and International Travel after Texas Divorce
- Child Custody Geographic Restrictions in Texas
- Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
- The Dirty Trick of Moving Out of State with the Kids
- Can a Parent remove My Child from the state of Texas or from the County
or Country where I am living?
- Children's Passports and International Travel after Texas Divorce
- Child Custody Basics for Texas Parents Revisited
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- Joint Managing Conservators in a Child Custody Case in Texas?
- Can I get sole custody of my kid in Texas?
- Sole Managing Conservator in a Child Custody Case in Texas?
- Texas Child Custody Modifications
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
Divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Houston, TX Child Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and