Unaccompanied Minors Traveling After a Divorce
There may be times when a child travels alone – says goodbye to Dad at one airport and hello to Mom several thousand miles away. Mix-ups can happen. How can they be prevented? During a divorce parents who travel frequently by air need to include precise plans for their children’s travel safety.
Take for instance, the recent Associated Press story about the two five-year-olds who boarded the same plane in the Dominican Republic but each ended up in the wrong city when they arrived in the US. Imagine your horror if you were a parent being presented with the wrong child at the airport?
One mother said, “I was freaking out.” According to the article, it took hours before the airline could figure out what happened. Imagine the trauma a child might experience in a situation like this. Every parent has an individual duty to protect the safety and emotional well-being of their children. How do you do that with an airport and plane rides involved?
Divorcing parents can minimize the likelihood of an incident like this happening by including a detailed travel plan in the divorce decree. Every possible event cannot be covered, but the travel plan can minimize anxiety for the family. And remember – a judge with a crowded docket is not equipped to address all the details best for a family with unique travel schedules.
Instead, consider divorcing differently. Use a form of dispute resolution called the collaborative law process. Both parents participate in designing a parenting plan that minimizes traumatic events for the children. Parents can still voice their disagreements with one another, while at the same time protecting their children’s safety and well-being. Child experts sometimes work at the collaborative table to remind parents of effective tools to reach a good outcome.
Collaborative Divorce Texas has members in various professions who are specially trained to include special arrangements in a parenting plan that take into account the ages and needs of children. For more details and information about divorcing differently, visit CollaborativeDivorceTexas.com
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