Eisenberg Law Offices Handle Child Custody Issues
Divorced? You May Need Wisconsin Family Law Services Before Traveling Abroad With Your Child If you are a divorced parent who wishes to take your child out of the country for vacation, to visit relatives, for medical treatment, or for any other reason, the law requires that both parents consent. Both parents must agree that their minor child can obtain a passport or leave the country for any reason. In either case, you may need the services of the Wisconsin family law team at Eisenberg Law Offices. Some divorced couples are cordial enough to work out travel arrangements without a mediation session at the attorney’s office; for those who are still at odds, family lawyers can sometimes craft a workable solution. Both Parents Must Agree To Obtain A Passport For A Minor Child Many times this situation comes up long after the divorce and parents find themselves battling if they do not agree that the child can travel out of the United States. For families who routinely traveled abroad before the divorce, the child may already have a passport, but that does not mean that parents are willing to let the child leave the country with the other parent after the divorce. In an effort to prevent child abduction, the State Department requires that both parents must give consent in order for children under 14 to obtain passports. While a parent with sole legal custody can apply for a child’s passport, in other cases both parents must be present with the child to obtain a passport or one must provide a signed form DS-3053 that gives the other parent the authorization to obtain the passport. If one parent refuses to sign the documents, the State Department will not issue a passport. This puts the parents back in the lawyer’s office and back in court. Only the court can decide to bypass the requirement that two signatures are necessary. Both Parents Must Agree To Foreign Travel Many divorce settlements contain language that limits where the child can go without consent of both parents. In any case, before a trip, the parents should discuss and agree on the travel plans and get the passport in the hands of the parent who will be traveling. If the child has a passport, both parents must agree that the child can travel out of the country. Even if both parents agree that the trip is in the best interest of the child, the parent who travels should obtain a written authorization from the other parent to present to authorities if there is an issue abroad. He or she should also carry a copy of legal custody orders. Globally, there is heightened concern about parental abduction, so foreign authorities at custom stations can hold your travel party in custody until the other parent is contacted. Some parents are reluctant to authorize a trip abroad just to be obstinate. However, for parents who fear that their ex will kidnap the child and not return him to the United States, it is possible to put the child’s name on a passport lockout list after registering with the Children’s Passport Issuance Alert System (CPIAP) so that no passport can be issued. If the child already has a passport, your attorney can petition the court to require that the passport be held by the court.