The first thing to do is apply for a passport for your child if he or she does not have one. Both parents must sign for this unless one parent has sole custody, in which case only one signature is needed. The court can override the requirement for both signatures if it is necessary to protect the child. Once a passport is issued, you can keep it in a safe or safety deposit box. Your ex cannot take your child out of the country without it. Your attorney can also apply for a court order holding the passport in the court’s possession or with your attorney.
If your child does not have a passport and you can’t or don’t want to get one, you can sign up with the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert System through the Department of State. This will alert you when a passport is applied for in your child’s name.
Your attorney can ensure that the Hague Abduction Convention language is part of your child custody order and that neither parent can travel outside of the country without court approval. A provision can also be included that requires a parent to post a bond if he or she wishes to take the child out of the country.
Parental child abduction is a serious matter and if you have concerns about your child’s safety you need to talk to an attorney as soon as possible.
The Sampair Group is prepared to help protect your child. We work in the Mesa or Glendale areas of Arizona. Call us today to set up a time to meet with us.