Child Custody

questions & answers

Question: If I have sole custody do I need the other parents permission to take our child out of the country on vacation?

Answer:

I assume from your phrase "sole custody" that you are referring to legal custody-not just primary physical custody. If you possess sole legal custody, you will probably be able to make your travel plans without the other parent's consent. This also assumes, of course, that the divorce decree and/or accompanying parenting plan does not contain any special provisions that forbid or restrict either out-of-state or international travel. If they do, it will not matter what kind of custody you possess. You will need the consent of the court to take your trip.

Your divorce decree may also contain special rules about your duty to provide a trip plans to the "left behind" parent, as well as regular access between that parent and the child while you are gone. So read the divorce decree and parenting plan carefully before you do *anything*!!!

If you do not possess sole *legal* custody, US State Department regulations will generally require you to seek the consent of the other biological parent (or a court order overriding that parent's objection) before engaging in international travel with your child. More information about securing a passport and the overall issue of travel abroad can be found on the State Department's webpage (Form DS-3053, Statement of Consent: Issuance of a Passport to a Minor under Age 14). Pay special attention to paragraph 5.

Comments:

On 5/16/07
Randy said
I have legal sole custody of my 5yr old daughter. I am unable to support us here in Arizona. If I pay legal fees and custody evaluation fees, I will have nothing left to live. I have a work offered to me in Utah

On 5/16/07
Randy said
I have legal sole custody of my 5yr old daughter. I am unable to support us here in Arizona. If I pay legal fees and custody evaluation fees, I will have nothing left to live. I have a work offerred to me in Utah, may I leave

On 1/28/07
Oksana said
I am from former Soviet Union and it’s so unfair to my son/me that my soon to be ex-husband does not allowed me to take our son to visit his Russian relatives, which is also objectionable to the mother’s culture.

QUESTIONS

  • If I have sole custody do I need the other parents permission to take our child out of the country on vacation?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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