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AttyHeather
AttyHeather, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 547
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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I signed a mediated divorce settlement last week. In it;

Customer Question

I signed a mediated divorce settlement last week. In it; "either parent may apply for a passport on behalf of the child. Both parents shall be entitled to travel internationally with the child with consent of the other parent. Consent for international travel shall not be unreasonably withheld by either parent." "Both parents shall be permanently enjoined from permanently removing the child from this Texas jurisdiction"1. Due to the souring relationship between the U.S. and the Phillipines lately, Is it "(unreasonable)" to deny travel with the child at this time, until relations between our countries get better?
2. Her home is in the southern island of Mindinao, also the home of the Abu sayaf muslim extremist group, who kidnaps and executes foreigners. Is it also "(unreasonable)" to deny her international travel with the child to this region because of this terrorism threat/risk?
3. Is it possible to insert a bond requirement of $20k before her traveling with the child, since she will be getting 60k out of our retirement account upon dissolution of our marriage?
4.What is the legal interpretation of (unreasonable)?
5. If I refuse to allow her international travel after this agreement if finalized, what are her options?
Submitted: 27 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 27 days ago.

Hi! I'm Heather. I've been a practicing attorney for the last 15 years, and I'd be happy to assist you for informational and educational purposes.

Expert:  AttyHeather replied 27 days ago.

1. Due to the souring relationship between the U.S. and the Phillipines lately, Is it "(unreasonable)" to deny travel with the child at this time, until relations between our countries get better?

This is going to have to be a judgment call. Since you did not define specific situations in the decree that would be unreasonable, what is reasonable to one person may be unreasonable to another. You will have to convince the judge that if the child goes to this place, it will be a risk to the child's safety, and if the judge is convinced of this, the judge will probably agree with you.
2. Her home is in the southern island of Mindinao, also the home of the Abu sayaf muslim extremist group, who kidnaps and executes foreigners. Is it also "(unreasonable)" to deny her international travel with the child to this region because of this terrorism threat/risk?

Same answer as to question 1.
3. Is it possible to insert a bond requirement of $20k before her traveling with the child, since she will be getting 60k out of our retirement account upon dissolution of our marriage? I do not think that is reasonable. Especially when it was not a provision in the agreement.
4.What is the legal interpretation of (unreasonable)? Usually someone is acting unreasonably if their actions are not based in sound judgment, not fair, not sensible. Different people can differ as to what is reasonable or what is unreasonable. Someone acting reasonably would not act in an arbitrary or capricious way.
5. If I refuse to allow her international travel after this agreement if finalized, what are her options?

If she believes you have acted unreasonably, she can file a motion for order to show cause to have you found in contempt of court, and have the court enforce the decree by requiring your consent. She could also file a motion to clarify the decree to have the judge better define what is meant by unreasonable, or have the judge tell her whether her request is unreasonable. If the judge agrees with her that you have acted unreasonable, that may be a substantial and material change in circumstances that could justify granting her legal custody or could warrant changing the requirement that she obtain your consent, but again, she'd have to convince the judge that you unreasonably withheld your consent, which I do not believe the judge would certainly do, if you showed the court that the child's safety would by put at risk by going to these volatile countries.

Does that help?

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Well we have signed the mediated agreement and it is binding and nonrevocable. But the judge hasn't signed it yet, The final hearing isn't until dec 15th, so Is there anyway to address these topics in that hearing?My ex has no ties to the usa, she is a greencard holder, has her own cleaning business she does the work herself, she has no assets as far as business wise, she rents her aptment. Now she is receiving 60k from our retirement account, she can live a long time on that amount in her country, She is already asking me to sign her authorization for our sons passport, and the Judge hasn't even signed it into final form yet. any pointers?
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 27 days ago.

I think that if you can strongly present your case, that you are aware of the violence and risk of going to these countries, then you have at least a pretty good argument to withhold your consent to the passport. Just make sure that you document that it is your understanding that these places are violent, and that taking the child to these countries will put the child unreasonably at risk. Maybe you can also get her to admit via email of the danger going on in those countries, and if she admits that they are dangerous in email, then you can use that later against her to show the judge that she even admitted that the places were dangerous. If she doesn't like your decision to withhold consent, then it is up to her to file something asking for relief - that is not really up to you. She can either accept that you are withholding your consent and not go, or she can file something with the court claiming that you are unreasonably withholding your consent, and then you can show the court why withholding consent is the reasonable and proper thing to do when considering the best interests of the child.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
Well that's a problem, because she refuses to give me any email address and she withholds any contact info with her family in the Philippines. She does not want me to be in communication with them. She has removed her facebook account and changed her name on the facebook, so there is no way to find her. She has deleted her email accounts also. Perfect preparation to run off in the Philippines with our son. What ya say?
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 27 days ago.

Can you send a text?

Yes, this is classic.

Customer: replied 27 days ago.
she lives in Mindanao. here is the info I found in a google search: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/philippines-travel-warning.html
Expert:  AttyHeather replied 25 days ago.

Could you please provide a positive rating for my assistance?