By Amy Yanik Meisel |
Now is the time to think about getting prepared legally…
It is inevitable. Immediately before Spring Break each year, we receive a telephone call from a client frantically trying to figure out what documents he needs in order to travel out of state with his children now that he is divorced. Here is a simple summary of what you need to know:
Travel Within the United States
No legal documentation is required for one parent to travel within the United States with his or her minor child without the other parent. However, the U.S. Department of State recommends that a child carry a “Travel Consent” form if he is traveling with only one parent. The “Travel Consent” form should include the child’s full name, date of birth, travel destination, start and end date for the trip, and an acknowledgement that the non-traveling parent consents to the travel plans (think who, what, where, when, why and the contact information for the absent parent.) We recommend that the “Travel Consent” form be notarized. See Travel Consent Form below.
Travel Outside the United States
Traveling outside of the United States with a minor child obviously requires a passport. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection also highly recommends having the non-traveling parent sign a “Travel Consent” form. While U.S. Customs and Border Protection may not ask to see this “Travel Consent” form, if they do ask and you do not have it, you may be detained until travel arrangements can be verified. The “Travel Consent” form should include the child’s full name, date of birth, travel destination, start and end date for the trip, and an acknowledgement that the non-traveling parent consents to the travel plans (think who, what, where, when, why and the contact information for the absent parent.) The “Travel Consent” form should be notarized. See Travel Consent Form below.
While the U.S. does not technically require a signed, notarized “Travel Consent” form, many other countries do, such as Canada and Mexico. You should check the specific requirements of the country to which you are traveling to determine what documentation is required.
We also highly recommend bringing the child’s birth certificate on all travel.
So, while the U.S. does not require a “Travel Consent” form, it is highly recommended that you obtain one. And if you are traveling outside the U.S., check the specific requirements of the country to determine what documentation is needed. We recommend starting this process early to avoid any last minute emergency phone calls to opposing counsel, or the Court.
TRAVEL CONSENT FORM
I, _____________________, am the ___ (mother) ___ (father) of ___________________, male/female, born __________________, currently ___ years of age. My child ______________ has my consent to travel with ________________________________, born ________________, to ___________________________ (destination) on the following dates: ________________________________________. Any questions concerning this consent may be address to me at:
Subscribed and sworn to before me
this ____ day of __________, 20__.