As difficult as it is to believe, parents sometimes kidnap their own children, take them to foreign countries and refuse to bring them back to their rightful home in violation of child custody orders. Although the chances of this happening to you are probably slim, if the other parent of your child is a foreign national, it’s definitely in the realm of possibility. As such, you may want to add some extra protections and security against the threat and potential of a child abduction by including special language within your parenting agreement.

Here’s some protective language to include:

  • Neither parent may take the child out of the state or out of the country without the express permission of both parents.
  • Before traveling with the child out of state or out of country, the traveling parent must request permission from the other parent at least 14 days before the the trip.
  • When requesting permission to travel, the other parent must provide a complete travel itinerary with flight numbers, flight times, travel destinations and contact information for each destination.
  • Once traveling permission has been given, the non-traveling parent agrees to provide access to all of the child’s required travel documents to the traveling parent.
  • Neither of the parents will apply for the child’s passport without the permission of the other parent or the court.
  • If a passport exists for the child, the parents will keep the passport in a safe deposit box under seal of court.

Perhaps these measures seem extreme, but if you’re the non-foreign parent and you can gain the other parent’s acceptance of these provisions, you should by all means include such provisions in your parenting plan. It could help you avoid a catastrophic international child abduction problem at a later time.