30 August 2018

International access arrangements – 3 key considerations

By Dylan Bertsch

There are more and more international relationships and marriages.

Unfortunately, this also means an increase in the number of international breakups. If you have children, determining and agreeing an international access arrangement can be complicated. Here are three key considerations to take into account.

1 – Consider your flights

In international access arrangements, the flights for you as parents and the flights for your child(ren) are an important topic. In addition to the frequency of travel, how you fly is relevant.

For instance: are you accompanying your children on the outbound flight and your partner is travelling back with them? Or are the children flying unaccompanied?

Parents need to agree on how flights will take place upfront. This means giving thought to the logistics of international travel and deciding on the minimum age at which your children can fly unaccompanied.

Many airlines offer an “unaccompanied minor” service, but the minimum age varies per airline. There is not much case law and an unambiguous directive does not yet exist, so it’s best to define this clearly in the international access arrangement.

2 – Get permission to travel

If you and your ex-partner both have parental authority over your children, you need each other’s permission to fly with your children. This permission should always be given in writing using a special form.

Please note that you must always have these permission forms with you if you are traveling with your children as part of an international access arrangement.

3 – Take the costs into account

An access arrangement that spans international borders is more expensive than an access arrangement between parents and children within the Netherlands.

You may need to maintain an apartment, rent accommodation and/or hire a car to facilitate access in a different country. You’ll want to consider which of these additional costs you will pay for. Moreover, it is important to agree on who pays for which airline tickets.

When determining alimony, you should also take these additional costs into account. After all, it can change your financial picture.

Make the best possible plan

There is a lot to consider when you are defining an international access arrangement, and getting the right advice at the start can make this easier.

If your situation changes and you need to update an existing access arrangement, be sure and consider all the key points are covered within the new agreement.

If you have questions, need guidance or wish to discuss your situation, don’t hesitate to contact me for assistance.


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Dylan Bertsch

Dylan Bertsch

Lawyer and mediator

Dylan is a committed and passionate lawyer who is specialised in family law.

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