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If I allow my ex-wife to get passports for my kids now, will I have the right to stop her from taking them abroad later?

by Dan
(Altamonte Springs, FL, USA)

Question: My ex-wife wants to obtain passports to take my children on a vacation to France. I am not opposed to them going on that particular trip, but I am concerned that once she has the passports she might take them out of the country without my permission later. Her husband is not a US citizen so I could see her easily taking them to his home country of England.

If I agree to sign for the passports now, is there a way to have them flagged to prohibit her from taking the children out of the country without my written permission in the future?

Answer: We know of no way to "flag" passports to prohibit your children from exiting the country without your written permission. However, many countries require the parent of minor children to carry notarized consent to travel from the non-traveling parent. Those who do not can be denied entrance. The problem is that this is not always enforced.

We encourage you to speak with a lawyer about the possibility of amending the custody agreement or establishing a court order that would require your ex-wife to obtain written, notarized consent from you each time she plans to take the children abroad. This would provide you with a certain level of tranquility without having to deny consent for your children to get passports.

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