Can I Take the Kids Out of the Country?

If you are raising children separately from their other parent, you must ensure you do not violate any Nevada state laws on child custody. If you are considering taking your children out of the country, you need to know what the rules are and whether you can go on your trip without running afoul of the law. If you do not have the right to take your kids out of the country and you do it anyway, you could face serious legal consequences including a charge of parental kidnapping.

Before you decide to take the kids out of the country, it is a good idea to speak with a Las Vegas divorce and custody lawyer for help. Pintar Albiston LLP can provide you with legal advice and, if necessary, can help you to secure permission to take your children abroad. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Can You Take the Kids Out of the Country?

Whether or not you are going to be able to take the kids out of the country is going to depend upon your family circumstances as well as any past interactions with the court.

If you are divorced or separated and you have a custody order in place, you need to refer to this custody order to determine what you do (and do not) have permission to do in terms of travel. If you have sole custody of the children and the other parent has no legal right to see the kids or make decisions about them, then you can take the kids out of the country without  issue.  The only potential pitfall you may experience is that the state department generally requires the signature of both parents on a child’s passport application. If you cannot obtain the signature of the  other parent, you will need to provide documented proof that you have sole custody. Your attorney can help you to do this, but it makes the process of getting a passport more complicated and can result in a delay.

If you are divorced or separated and your custody order gives the other parent shared time with the children or legal/ decision making authority, you cannot just leave the country with your kids. Before you take the kids out of the country, you will need to get permission from the other parent. If you are moving or the trip will be a long one, you may need to go to court and get your custody order formally changed. If the other parent agrees, you can petition the court together and the custody order should be altered allowing you to take the kids out of the country. However, if the other parent does not agree, you will need to petition the court and convince the family court judge that it is in the child’s best interests for you to be able to take the child abroad.

If the other parent is concerned that you may be considering taking the kids out of the country without permission, he or she can appeal to the court to seize your child’s passport.

To better understand your rights for taking your child out of the country, or for help petitioning for permission to go abroad, contact Pintar Albiston LLP today.