Travelling Overseas with Shared Custody Kids Throughout Covid | Excessive Swartz LLP

Many Pennsylvanians feel the need to travel abroad even as the pandemic intensifies. For parents who are separated, this can present several unique challenges.

Air traffic has slowed dramatically as a result of the global pandemic. As more Pennsylvanians receive a COVID vaccine, it can be assumed that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, there are some things that you should know if you are planning on traveling with your child (s) if you share custody.

Review your current custody decision

The custody decision often sets out what steps must be taken to obtain the consent of the other parent, e.g. B. 30 days’ written notice, a full itinerary, etc. It is important that you comply with your custody decision. Otherwise, the other parent may ask a court to find you in contempt.

Without a custody decision or if your order is silent on the issue of travel, you should seek the other party’s consent and / or court approval. It is highly recommended that you speak to an experienced family law attorney about this.

Which written documents are required?

Assuming the other parent approves your trip with the children, the next question is what kind of written documentation is required. While there is currently no legal authority in the United States to require a parent to obtain a signed consent form from the other parent in order to travel with the children outside of the United States, either customs or border protection can still stop a parent United States or from Customs in the visiting county.

Best practices dictate that you get the other parent to sign and certify a consent form that you can take with you to the airport. The United States Customs and Border Protection Information Center website provides helpful guidance on this issue, particularly what types of information should be included in the letter, such as:

  1. The names of the (child) or children on the trip as well as their main address, telephone number, date and place of birth and the name of a parent or legal guardian for each child.
  2. The name of the group and the supervising adult such as: school groups, youth tours, vacation groups.
  3. A written and signed declaration from the supervising adult stating that he or she has the consent of the parent or legal guardian for each child. CBP also suggests notarizing this note to easily verify the validity of the parental authorization.
  4. In the case of frequent cross-border commuters, the letter should not exceed a year. It is recommended to have the letter in English.

Be prepared

As soon as you have prepared a letter and the other parent has signed and notarized it, you may not be asked by Customs and Border Protection when you travel. Remember that if you do not have clear permission from the other parent and Customs and Border Protection requires you and your child to be arrested, while Customs and Border Protection will check that the other parent has given consent to travel.[ren)couldbedetainedwhileCustomsandBorderProtectionsortsoutwhetherconsenttotravelwasgivenbytheotherparent[ren)couldbedetainedwhileCustomsandBorderProtectionsortsoutwhetherconsenttotravelwasgivenbytheotherparent

While United States Customs and Border Protection does not require this permit, the customs equivalent may apply to the nation you are visiting. Our strong recommendation as family law attorneys is to prepare a letter. You can find an example here. Again, the letter should be notarized so that the customs officer can quickly determine that the other parent has given his consent.

Why should customs and / or border guards want to get the other parent’s travel authorization?

The reason for requiring confirmation that the other parent has agreed to travel is to reduce the potential for kidnapping claims. If you take the steps to ensure you have the other parent’s written consent, you can rest assured that you will not face any potential customs issues in this country or in the county you are visiting.

It is wise to have a notarized letter from the other parent and be prepared for anything when traveling abroad, especially during the pandemic. Keep up to date by visiting the websites listed above and keep your child’s parents informed about travel outside of Pennsylvania, especially overseas.

Comments are closed.