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One parent traveling with children outside of country

One parent traveling with children outside of country

Mar 7th, 2005, 07:08 AM
  #21  
 
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Good luck with this -- I shudder to think how many twists this situation could take. My wife has travelled with my son to meet me in Europe, Canada and Australia and has never had to show any documentation (which she carried). And because our son is black and we are white, you'd think they'd be flagged, but it hasn't happened.
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Mar 7th, 2005, 07:10 AM
  #22  
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Thanks for your concern. I try to stay as objective as possible. I really can say that my husband has given up a lot of time with his sons in order to keep peace. He leaves the manipulative tactics to the mother. I hope that when the boys are adults they remember this...thanks again.
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Mar 7th, 2005, 07:14 AM
  #23  
 
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Laur, does your husband's ex come from the Dominican Republic? Is it really likely that she will not be bringing the kids back? He could be nice, and let her know that it would e advisable to have written consent from him and if she will give him dates, he'd be happy to send such a letter to her. Making the permission contingent on something else is a bad way to go and will only serve to perpetuate the ill feeling. He needs to take the high road, and you may find out that the mother, as others have suggested, just didn't know.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 05:55 AM
  #24  
Cassandra
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Interesting how the responses are going. Obviously a lot of the women are relating to the ex-wife and don't particularly trust Laura's husband not to have been the ugly one here and not to be purposely trying to cause his ex a problem, at the expense of the kids.

I've seen it both ways, and I have to say, it doesn't sound like Laura's husband is intent on causeing a problem here. I do have to wonder why, of all places, the ex chose Dom. Rep. for a vacation.
 
Mar 8th, 2005, 06:04 AM
  #25  
 
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Cassandra - Would you wonder the same thing if she had chosen Santa Fe? I guess I can't see any reason, on the surface, why not the Dominican Republic.

And Laura's husband clearly doesn't have totally innocent intentions, though his motivation is clear enough. His ex is making it difficult for him to see his children, so he wants to use the tool he has (a permission letter for them to leave the country) as leverage with her to see them more. Good reason for doing so, but it's not entirely on the up and up. It's not entirely in their best interests. Sounds like both parents have issues with the divorce, so neither is acting as a saint here.

And my perspective on this comes from a friend who had a nasty divorce and whose ex-wife has fed so many lies to their daughter that she will no longer speak to her father. Thankfully he still has a good relationship with his son. But I'm definitely not coming from the mindset that the mom is always right.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 06:12 AM
  #26  
 
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If my wife and I ever did split up, I couldn't imagine ever viewing a situation with our children as a "point of negotiation." I recognize that's it is easy to say that now, but with all the talk of the influence of movies, tv, etc - that kids viewed as bargaining chips are a far greater problem.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 06:15 AM
  #27  
Cassandra
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At least you're honest, jlm_mi, in saying you may have a bias here. I don't read the situation the way you do, since you seem to have read into the first post that Laura's husband mainly wanted assurance that they'd need a letter just so he could cause his Ex an obstacle.

I don't think there's any reason to assume that, but even if it's so, you still seem to assume that he's planning to cause a problem.

Note that it's the Ex who wants to take the kids on an out-of-country trip. And no, I wouldn't have the same concerns about Santa Fe -- except maybe if she had relatives there and Ariz. doesn't have reciprocity agreements with the home state about custody or doesn't enforce them, or whatever.

The reason Dom. Repub. raises flags is that it is, indeed, a non-extradition country that's a noted haven for parents abducting kids away from other parents. There are plenty of other Caribbean destinations for a family vacation, not to mention all kinds of places all over the lower 48.
 
Mar 8th, 2005, 06:33 AM
  #28  
 
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Cassandra - That's a good point about the DR that I wasn't aware of. But I didn't draw my conclusions about the husband from the first post. It's specifically based on Laura147 saying this later on:

"The permission letter may be a point of negotiation to try to ensure smoother visitations."

It definitely sounds like he'd threaten to not give the letter unless she works with him more nicely in the future.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 06:38 AM
  #29  
 
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Jlm,
Unless travel is specifically covered by their custody agreement, the mother doesn't need a permission slip to take the children outside the US under US law. The only law that could apply is Dominican law.

The US doesn't have exit controls on people leaving the US for foreign travel, rendering the whole point of a permission letter moot if they meet the travel document requirements of their destination.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 07:13 AM
  #30  
Cassandra
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Ryan -- I've never heard of a custody agreement that DIDN'T cover travel outside the jurisdiction. Isn't it S.O.P. for custody judgments to include extra-jurisdiction movement?
 
Mar 8th, 2005, 07:17 AM
  #31  
 
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Cassandra,
Not a lawyer but have worked with/against some who billed $500 or more and hour and STILL made mistakes.

I don't know what does or doesn't go in a custody agreement as I've never been divorced. My point was that the only protection a parent has is what is IN the custody agreement. If they assume the State Department helps them, then they're wrong.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 07:36 AM
  #32  
 
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if they were going to santa fe, why would one care about reciprocity between arizona and the home state?
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Mar 8th, 2005, 08:01 AM
  #33  
Cassandra
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If they went to Santa Fe and did not return, it could probably be a violation of custody terms; but if Ariz. did not enforce a custody agreement from, say, Georgia, the mother would only be an outlaw in Georgia, and as long as she didn't come back, there really wouldn't be anything the father could do, even if he went to Arizona. I've even heard of cases like that where the father went to Arizona (for example), "re-abducted" his kids and was then an outlaw in Arizona. So no matter where the kids were, they were where one or the other parent was an outlaw -- a hideous situation but one which we have no legal structures in place to handle, to my knowledge.

The Dept. of State is certainly not in the business of enforcing US domestic laws -- their job is to protect US interests outside the country.

But this is not to say that someone known to have committed a federal offense would be knowingly allowed to waltz out of the country if officials were notified -- "officials" being people like airport police, security, county or state police, etc.

Kidnapping is a federal offense; but the truth is also that the "officials" and "authorities" are sometimes extremely reluctant to get involved in what they may see as domestic disputes. Even if the Ex really did have something dark in mind, someone in Laura's husband's situation would probably have a difficult time getting help in preventing an abduction without clear and quick proof that a)his EX was acting against the terms of the custody agreement and b) she had no intention of returning to the US. And obviously that proof would be difficult to generate.

Much better, then, to confront the whole issue well ahead of time.
 
Mar 8th, 2005, 08:17 AM
  #34  
 
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i understood your point, Cassandra... mine was that santa fe is in new mexico.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 09:10 AM
  #35  
 
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Also, the father needs to keep in mind that he may, at some time in the future, want to take the kids out of the US for a vacation. Whatever he does now may affect the mother's response to that.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 09:20 AM
  #36  
mp
 
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Just an aside to the OP's question - last year my husband and were travelling with our son to Vancouver, and because my last name is different than theirs, we were stopped and questioned about custody. We were told to next time, travel with a copy of his birth certificate that has both parents names on it. And were instructed to always have a permission letter if travelling solo with the child.



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Mar 8th, 2005, 09:48 AM
  #37  
Fairhope
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As an aside to this issue--I recently asked Delta what would I need to travel with my 20 month old grandson--Nothing! Book flight with child and move on!
However Canada wants birth certificate, letters of permission and the Pope's blessing LOL
 
Mar 8th, 2005, 10:25 AM
  #38  
 
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Without getting into the meaty issue of custody and international travel, I just want to reiterate what has already been briefly touched on here, and that's the issue of having proper consent if the child needs to be hospitalized. This usually takes the form of a notarized written letter authorizing the adult traveling with the minor to make all medically necessary decisions in the event of illness. And it applies to domestic as well as international travel.

Although it's probably a good idea to obtain this consent for any parent traveling alone with minors, regardless of whether they are married or divorced, it would be especially wise for grandparents traveling with grandchildren to have this consent, because unless they are legal guardians, they would have no authority at all.
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Mar 8th, 2005, 11:57 AM
  #39  
Cassandra
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DUHHHHH!!! A classic stupid, Easterner's error! SORRY to all in Santa Fe and to all in Arizona.
 
Mar 8th, 2005, 01:27 PM
  #40  
 
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Laura, has your husband checked his divorce decree to see if it stipulates what age either parent is allowed to take the children out of US territory? Most decrees have a minimum age the children must be.

I am in strong agreement that a notarized letter of consent is a good idea when either parent is taking the child/children out of the country. Therefore, you might want to request that this is done for the good of both parties. It should specify not only all travel arrangements and flights, but medical preferences should treatment be necessary.

I can relate to your situation since my husband has a very manipulative and vindictive ex who tried tooth and nail to deny my husband yearly visitation once we moved out of the US. Thank goodness after 14 years the whole scenario is finally becoming water under the bridge. Take heart...things will eventually get better.
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