There are a lot of different (and interesting) issues and questions that come up when practicing law in the family sector. Just recently, however, I was faced with what I believe is a basic question I had yet to encounter: are unmarried parents required to obtain consent from the other parent when traveling out of the country with the minor children?
I have heard this question before from unmarried parents that have yet to establish paternity–which in that case a consent form would be required. But when it comes to a couple who were previously married and have a parenting plan with a timesharing schedule already established, is a consent form still required?
After contacting TSA, Miami International Airport, and other resources, I was given the answer: a consent form will not be required if:
- The parents have already established paternity and consent has been given through a previous document signed by the non-traveling parent; OR
- The parents have a parenting plan with a timesharing agreement that has been approved by the court and said the plan allows the parent to travel with the minor child without consent from the other parent.
It must be noted, however, that a parenting plan may include a provision that requires consent from the non-traveling parent before the other can travel with the child to another country. Some plans may include language to the effect that the traveling parent must notify the non-traveling parent of his/her intent to travel with the minor children within a specific number of days, and submit to the non-travel parent an itinerary of all the information of the travel. This information may include the names of the people traveling/staying with the minor children, the hotel and travel information, phone numbers, and so on.
Family law issues are tough as it is, but when children are involved, it may be a little tougher. Courts in Florida, as well as in almost every other State, have a standard when children are involved in the case: every decision must be “in the best interest of the minor child(ren).
The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek the assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.
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