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Spring break is almost here and summer vacation will be here before we know it, so many parents are likely gearing up to take their children on exciting adventures. In many cases, parents may take their children to other countries to visit relatives or simply to explore a new culture. While you may assume you have the right to take your child on whatever trip you want to, there can be specific requirements for international travel if you share custody of your child with their other parent.

Getting Your Child’s Passport

If you need to get a passport for your child for a trip, the Passport Agency will have certain requirements, including consent from both parents for any child younger than 16 years old. One of the following must occur:

  • Both parents go together to apply for the passport and sign the application;
  • One parent goes to the agency and the other sends a signed consent form if they cannot accompany the child;
  • A parent with sole custody presents the court order proving the custody award and then does not require consent from the other parent.

Obtaining Consent to Travel

Even if your child already has a passport, there are steps you need to take before you travel internationally. Many parenting plans require permission from the other parent before you take your child outside the country. If your plan requires this, you should always comply. In addition, the U.S. State Department suggests that you travel with a letter of consent signed by the other parent.

Risks of not Obtaining Proper Consent

If you fail to obtain permission before you take your child on an international trip, you could risk being accused of international child abduction by a parent if it is reported to the authorities. In addition, even if you are not accused of abduction, the court may impose penalties for violating the parenting agreement and may even modify your custody rights.

Our Stamford, CT Child Custody Lawyers are Here to Help

The Connecticut family law attorneys at the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant, L.L.C. have helped many parents negotiate for permission to travel internationally with their child. Call our office today at 203-348-2465 for more information.

1https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/under-16.html

2https://www.jud.ct.gov/webforms/forms/fm199.pdf

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