Mother has threatened to take kids out of country

Question:

I am married, but verbal fighting between me and my wife have strained the marriage to the point that we are discussing divorce.
We have two children, a 3 & an 18-month-old. My wife is from Chile, and has expressed that if we were divorced, that she would take the kids to Chile. She is also always bringing up “divorce.”
In a recent fight, she said that she knows that it would be illegal for her to take the kids to Chile to live without my consent, but that she would somehow find a way to do so. She has often asked to make a small break in our relationship, where she would take the kids to Chile for a while. In the past I was open to this idea. Now, I am obviously not.
My question is this: how can I protect myself from future actions of my wife to take the kids away from me, and more importantly, out of the country. I am not sure that I want to pursue the divorce, but want to make sure that I am not blind-sided by any actions that she may take.

Answer:

Allow me to preface my answer to your question with the fact that I am not licensed to practice law in Iowa. You need to take these threats very seriously. Generally after the case is decided, the court will not let her move to Chile, unless there is a compelling reason why it would be in your children’s best interest to be so far away from you. When you file for divorce, you need to get an injunction that prevents her from removing the children from the area you live in.
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