Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: If you have 50/50 custody and your ex takes your child to Mexico without permission, what paper can you file to prevent this from happening again?

Answer:

It is difficult to answer this question as posed, because much depends on what you mean by "50/50 custody," as well as what your custody decree actually says about international travel. For example, I cannot tell if you mean shared *legal* custody, or a situation where one parent exercises sole legal custody, but the two parents share actual time with the child on a relatively equal (i.e. "50/50") basis.

Anyway, even a non-custodial parent exercising visitation may vacation with a child wherever s/he wishes; otherwise, parenting time would lose much of its meaning. Where international travel is involved, USCIS might require certain documentation in addition to a passport, including a copy of the court order or signed consent from the other parent. But that has more to do with federal border regulation and less to do with the Arizona family court.

 If the original custody decree forbids travel across the international boundary, then obviously the past (and future) visits to Mexico constitute violations of the court order, and you may want to bring the matter to the judge's attention. But if the custody decree is silent on this point, and federal authorities permit the border crossing.

QUESTIONS

  • If you have 50/50 custody and your ex takes your child to Mexico without permission, what paper can you file to prevent this from happening again?

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