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Michigan Family Law Blog

Traveling Internationally with Children and Divorce in Michigan

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Dec 13, 2023 | 0 Comments

Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

There are so many different considerations to account for when you have children and are considering a divorce.  One concern that sometimes comes up is traveling internationally or out of the state with the children to see family for the holidays or anytime really.  This blog will address how the courts in Michigan would handle these issues if they come up in a divorce or post-divorce situation, if you have any questions regarding family law, please do not hesitate to schedule a consultation either online or by calling (248) 608-4123.

Traveling Out of State with the Children

If you are considering traveling out of state with the children but not internationally and you are not yet divorced, there should be no restrictions on doing so, but it is wise to keep your spouse updated regarding the travel plans to hopefully avoid any issues.  If you are divorced, then you should check the judgment of divorce or settlement agreement to see if there is a clause regarding out-of-state travel with the minor children.  Many judgements will have a clause that states neither party may travel out of state with the children without the permission of the other parent, if the other parent refuses, then you must file a motion with the court and get the court to grant an order allowing the travel.  If there is such a clause in your divorce judgement/settlement agreement, then you must follow that clause or file a motion with the court to allow the travel or modify the judgment/settlement agreement.

Traveling Out of the Country with the Children

If you are not yet divorced, then as long as you have the passports, you can travel internationally with the children ,but again, you should keep the other parent fully aware and if there is an issue, it might be best to seek a written agreement or an order from the court.  If you are divorced, most judgments will contain a clause that restricts international travel without the consent of both parents, and if consent is withheld, again the answer is to file a motion with the court and request that the court enter an order expressly allowing the travel.  These orders should also require the other parent tp provide the required passport(s) or assist in application for a passport for the child or the children.

The exception to the above paragraph is that once you are divorced in Michigan, travel to a country that is not a member of the Hague Convention, is not allowed without the written agreement of both parents.  Every judgment of divorce where there are minor children in this State is required to contain a clause which states that travel to a country that is not a member of the Hague Convention cannot be ordered by a judge unless both parents provide a signed written agreement to the court.  This means that if one parent wants to travel with the child to visit family in India for example, that parent cannot do so without the signed written consent of the other parent.  If the other parent does not consent, the court cannot order it, so filing a motion will not help, it is simply not allowed.

Divorce, with or without children, is very complicated and stressful even in the best circumstances.  If you or your spouse is considering a divorce or separation, schedule a consultation to discuss the situation with us either by contacting us online or calling (248) 608-4123.

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...


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