Call Us For A Free Consultation On Your Family Law Case

Can you travel out of the country with your child?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2023 | DIVORCE - Divorce

A well-deserved vacation out of the country with your child can seem like the perfect getaway. But if you are a divorced parent in New Jersey, planning this vacation might not be as straightforward. It may involve legal considerations that ensure the well-being and safety of your child.

The matter of getting permission from your ex-spouse to travel out of the country with your child falls under the realm of child custody laws in New Jersey. Here are some key aspects to consider as you plan your trip.

Understanding the types of child custody

New Jersey recognizes two types of child custody – physical custody and legal custody. If you have sole physical custody, you make day-to-day decisions for your child and your child resides with you. However, having sole physical custody does not automatically grant you the right to travel out of the country without consulting your ex-spouse.

If you and your ex-spouse share joint legal custody, you both have the right to make significant decisions affecting your child’s welfare, including the decision to travel internationally. So, before you book those plane tickets, ensure you have your ex-spouse’s consent.

Obtaining consent from your ex-spouse

It is not only courteous to ask for your ex-spouse’s permission to travel internationally with your child; it is legally prudent. A signed and notarized letter of consent from your ex-spouse can prevent potential legal conflicts.

The letter should include your ex-spouse’s full name, address and phone number, as well as details about the trip such as the departure and return dates and the destination. It is important to note that border officials may request this documentation upon departure or arrival.

In case of disagreements

If your ex-spouse refuses to provide consent, you may need to turn to the New Jersey courts for a resolution. A judge will evaluate the best interests of the child and make a decision accordingly. The judge will consider factors such as the purpose of the trip and its duration, and the child’s age and health.

By understanding these laws and how they apply to your situation, you can ensure a stress-free and enjoyable vacation with your child.