If your co-parent has family, business or other ties to one or more countries outside the U.S., you may be concerned that they’ll take your children abroad and fail to return them. We’ve all seen heartbreaking cases of parents fighting to get their children back after a parent has taken them to another country. The legal actions necessary to do this can be expensive and offer no guarantee of success, regardless of a couple’s custody agreement.
That’s where a Ne Exeat Bond may be helpful. Ne Exeat is Latin for “no leaving.” This is a surety bond. If a parent takes a child and doesn’t return them as required by the custody agreement, the amount of the bond must be paid to the other parent. This is intended to help the other parent pay for the legal costs associated with working to get their child back. The possibility of having to pay the amount of the bond (as opposed to the one percent it costs to get one) is meant to deter parental abduction.
In a best-case scenario, a co-parent will agree to post a Ne Exeat Bond. However, if the other parent feels the need to ask for one, the two likely don’t have a trusting co-parenting relationship.
If the traveling parent doesn’t agree to get the bond, the other parent can ask a judge to order them to. However, they need to present evidence, such as the co-parent’s strong ties to another country and/or a history of noncompliance with the custody agreement.
If you’re still in the process of working out your custody agreement, you may want to consider whether you’d like to seek a requirement for a Ne Exeat Bond if either parent leaves the country with the children. Your family law attorney can provide more information about these bonds and help you work to seek one.