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HOW TO LEGALLY MOVE ABROAD WITH YOUR CHILD/REN

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Moving abroad with your children is not only a brilliant move financially, you and your kids may actually need the change for your mental, physical and emotional health. 

Nomatic Life on the Move

Being a single mother is challenging and you should take any necessary steps to ease the responsibility.  

However, the present state of US relocation jurisprudence has different and sometimes contradictory trends. In many states, relocating, especially if it’s happening soon after divorce or separation is not viewed in favorable light. In other states, the decision is left to the custodial parent with the assumption that if it is good for them, it is good for the child as well. 

As a single mom, what obtains when you want to relocate with your child outside the US depends on your state and the custody rights of the said child. If you have full custody of the child, then relocating might be as easy as getting your passports ready and ensuring they are valid from the destination country’s point of view. If you share custody of the child, it is a different matter entirely as you must follow due process to ensure it doesn’t become a child abduction case.   

Here are the most important steps to take if you’re looking to move to a foreign country with your kids: 

Passport and Visa 

Moving abroad would be impossible if all your documents are not in order. Since you’re relocating with your children, make sure their paperwork is in order as well. This may be tricky if the other parent is also on the birth certificate. If there is no other parent on the birth certificate, you only need valid passports. Ensure there are at least, 6 months left on your passport as some countries won’t allow you to immigrate with c less than 6 months left on your passport. 

Child Letter Authorization  

Can you legally move abroad with your child? You have to answer yes to this or it would be impossible to relocate abroad with them. A passport alone will not suffice. You need to have a letter of consent from the other parent that allows you to go to another country with the child. Other conditions that make it possible for you to relocate abroad are if you have court papers stating you have sole custody, if you have a detailed living abroad and travel section, or if the other parent is not listed on the birth certificate. If the other parent doesn’t agree, you can still move, but it may be followed by litigation. Perhaps you may want to reconsider moving altogether. 

Lawyer Up 

In cases of fresh separation, divorce, or partial custody, you may need to attend mediation with an experienced International Family Lawyer to be sure your decisions are in accordance with the law of your jurisdiction. Part of the things you’ll need to prove in court includes the reasons for relocating, your ability to cater to the well-being of your children, and how new relationships may affect your relationship with the child. 


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This post contains affiliate links.  Please find a link to my entire disclaimer here.

Hello there!

I’m Jackie O., editor of the  international travel and lifestyle blog, The Jackie O. Life, serial entrepreneur, globetrotting Mama, Black digital nomad and overall badass.

I’m a former attorney, technology executive and model turned digital content provider and travel and lifestyle consultant.  I help Black women live magical lives all over the globe.

I’ve been featured in media outlets such as Travel Noire, American Express Essentials, Gorgeous Globe,  Flourish in the Foreign, Sorella, BizBash and more. Originally from the United States, I currently travel the world full-time with my toddler daughter, Ruth

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