Custody and International Travel

See Portland Custody Lawyer Ronald Allen Johnston First

young traveller
International travel with minors is increasingly common to visit relatives or vacation, and most people would agree that children benefit from seeing the world. The federal government seeks to prevent international child abduction, heightening security for all travelers, including parents and children. Parents who are divorced or unmarried must make sure they have the proper documentation when traveling internationally. Portland custody attorney Ronald Allen Johnston helps parents ensure they comply with all state, federal and international laws so their travel plans run smoothly and their trip is successful.

Considerations for International Travel with Children

If you are traveling across a border with a minor not accompanied by both birth parents, please consider the following information:

  • Travel with one parent when other parent is alive. If both birth parents are alive, and one of them will not be traveling with minor children, the traveling parent must have authorization from the non-traveling parent to take the children in and out of the country or to allow the minor children to travel on their own without a guardian.
  • When a birth parent is deceased. If a birth parent is deceased and the surviving parent will be traveling with minor children, the traveling parent need only to have in his or her possession a certified copy of the death certificate of the deceased birth parent and the child’s citizenship documentation.
  • Traveling with third parties. If the children will be traveling with a third party, such as a grandparent, teacher or sports coach, border agents often require a notarized consent from each living parent or a certified copy of a death certificate.
  • Guardian for minor child. If both birth parents are deceased or another person has legal guardianship of minor children, the guardian must have a certified copy of the guardianship papers and the child’s citizenship documentation. However, if the guardian will not be traveling with their minor children, the guardian must complete a notarized affidavit of consent to the person traveling with the children.

A Court Hearing May be Required if the Other Parent Objects to Travel

Ronald Johnston can prepare the required forms to ease your travel plans and ensure your trip runs smoothly. If you want to travel abroad and the other birth parent will not cooperate by signing a consent form, then you must make a formal demand and take court action. Do not wait to act if you are making plans for international travel with a child.

If your parenting plan does not contain a provision requiring cooperation in signing travel consent forms and use of passports, Portland family attorney Ronald Allen Johnston recommends filing for modification of the plan to include this type of provision. This will make future travel easier on parents and families. Contact our office to hear how we can help you travel internationally with your child and to ensure your plans are in full compliance with state, federal and international custody laws.

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