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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 03-02-2012, 06:16 PM
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Default Permission to travel with the kids

Hi everyone,
Does anyone have experience with traveling out of country with their kids?
My common law spouse is an American citizen and we have a 2 year old child together. I have 2 kids from my previous marriage, the exhusband and I share 50/50 custody, week on and week off. There is no mention on our divorce order about travelling, other than an interim order 3 years ago that the children were not to leave the province without the other parents consent, or a court order.

My common law spouse/fiance and I were making plans to get married in the late fall, back in his home state of Florida while on vacation. I emailed the ex, to let him know that I would appreciate his co-operation, that I would hate to see us having to go to court over something like this. He said he was not comfortable with the idea of the kids leaving the country, especially for a week and a half, because it may interfere with school (our kids are in elementary school) and that he isn't comfortable generally of the idea either, but that he would give it consideration.
I emailed him back and said that I have spoken with the school and that its normal for kids to go away on vacation, but that I would look at my finances and look into going in the summer then, so it would not interfere with school. He didn't reply.

So this summer we are making plans to fly to Georgia, visit my fiances father and then drive to Florida as my father in law is offering us to use his vehicle to drive down there from atlanta, and visit his sisters and mom, and go to Disney, Sea World, and my son is extremely antsy to visit Kennedy Space Station one day, and they all want to see "Winter" the dolphin, and my kids LOVE the beach. To make the trip worth while due to cost, and so my fiance and our daughter can spend time together too, we will be going for approx 2.5 weeks.

In the past my ex husband was extremely controlling (one of the biggest reasons why our marriage fell apart), and says no to anything he can, just to do so. If he has the chance to be difficult - he will make it difficult - just to attempt to frustrate me.

Once I get approval from work to go on vacation for the dates I put in for, I will be e-mailing him again, with approx dates, and an approx itinerary, with promise of a more solid itinerary once I have the passports as I am afraid to book plane tickets if things don't go well. I would give him a phone # where he can reach the children, along with a schedule for phone calls (every other day). To make up for time lost, I would offer him the same time lost as well, before leaving for our vacation or just after - to make it equal for the kids to spend time with us.

Do you think the best route here is to fill out the passport application , and put it in the exchange bag that we have, and e-mail him ahead of time asking him to sign it within 30 days, along with the info stated above? And that once I have the passports , that I will go ahead and order the plane tickets within 2-3 weeks (depending on prices during those times), and then I will email him a detailed itenerary and request him to write a notarized letter giving permission for the kids, with a time frame? I need to have enough time to go to court if I need to, to see if a judge will order him to sign a passport, or an order to even travel (granted, if the judge allows this trip to happen).

1) I'm not sure of 'reasonable time lines. I was thinking along the lines of
- 14 days to sign the passport application as it takes 2-3 weeks processing,
- I would have the tickets booked by April then,
- then 30 days for him to sign a permission to travel document, and if he fails, to bring a motion to court ? That way it gives us warranted time to go to court, if need to ?

2) I am 90% certain he will be difficult and this will have to go to court. What are the chances a judge would say no to allow us to all go on vacation together? I would be extremely sad if my two oldest cant join us for such a memorable trip.

3) Am I being reasonable with what I have stated above?

I am just wanting to get an outside opinion.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:30 PM
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Check these out

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...country-11218/

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f4/travel-10896/
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:50 AM
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if you go to court, you'll most likely get permission from a judge to travel. what you're asking for isn't unreasonable and you've come up with contingencies for missed time with dad.

I would say 30 days is too long for signing passports and getting the letter. The travel CONSENT letter (not permission - change your language) should/could be signed at the same time as the passport application. you've provided him notice of your intentions, he either agrees or doesn't - why give him a total of 6 weeks to mess around with you??

Sounds like you will most likely have to go to court over this. So better to do it sooner rather then later.
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Old 03-03-2012, 01:38 PM
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Hopefully the judge will shut him down and scare him with costs of going to court etc at the case conference.

Travelling with your kids is reasonable. 2.5 weeks is a long time not to see your kids, but it is not unreasonable, and the kids won't mind! It is in the best interests of the kids - your ex is an ass.

Your long post shows that you are used to dealing with him and finding was to appease him - congratulations on your divorce!
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:04 PM
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You are doing it the right way! Yes I think 30 days is too long for a signature for the passport. I would change it to a week, that's plenty of time to find a pen and add a signature. The longer you give him, the longer you will feel stressed about it actually returning. Sending an email prior to sending it is a good idea! Giving him the heads up and documentation you might need if it gets to court. Heck, if his parenting time includes a weekend, there should be no reason he can't sign and return it then during drop off. Just email a few days prior to giving application and asked for it's return when the children return. If he doesn't return, send another email stating he has 1 week to sign, and ask if he has a valid reason for not signing or if he has a valid concern of your travel plans...
If he's anything like my ex, he will just be "jealous" about your trip and cause delays just to mess around with you.
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Old 03-03-2012, 05:21 PM
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Thank you for the responses everyone!
So if I include the travel consent letter with the passport application and give it to him, I wouldn't have any firm dates yet as I am scared to buy the plane tickets, for him to say no - and then for some crazy reason a judge deny my trip (I can't see why).

So what I have done so far, is that I emailed him to let him know that I know he was hoping to go to Montreal to visit his family for 2 weeks with the kids in early July (17 hours away), and that it is fine with me. I told him that I am going to be taking my vacation the last week of July, first two weeks of August then.
I didn't make any mention of anything else in the email , just to see if the dates are OK with him for my vacation.

I am hoping he responds , and if he does I will let him know that I am making plans for us to go to Georgia/Florida during my vacation weeks, and that I will be sending him a passport application for him to sign, along with a consent letter, that I can travel with the kids to those states in that time period. I will mention in the travel consent form that I will provide him with a detailed copy of my itinerary once I book the plane tickets of which state we will be on what days, along with letting him know he can call my cell phone to call the kids every other day between 6-7PM if he wants to call them. And that I need it back a week later.
We will see what happens from then I guess.

Im just very nervous to book tickets (since most of the cheap ones are non refundable) if the dates dont work with him, or if like I said, the courts dont approve for some reason

Last edited by mykidsfirst; 03-03-2012 at 05:22 PM. Reason: add more information
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Old 03-03-2012, 06:06 PM
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You will need the child(ren) passport information before being able to make up the travel consent letter.
1st step, is to get the passport application signed! Next step, provide some details of the "proposed travel plans" ask him if he has an issues to clarify in email otherwise if no response, you assume there are no issues with the trip.
Book the trip, provide as much as possible for the trip, if flying, flight number, airport, arrival time and departure... contact information, address where you are staying. Give him the option to call and talk to the children and possibly set it up to give a day and time he would like to. Also, give him the option that you will give updates when you arrive (safe).
Then get the travel consent letter prepared and get it notarized.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:41 PM
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Well, I just hit send on my email. Wish me luck for some co-operation!
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:08 PM
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Well I sent him a polite email, to let him know I am making plans late this summer to go to atlanta and orlando with the kids and my spouse, on Monday. He hasn't responded yet. The last I heard from him on the subject was when I emailed him a few weeks ago and he said he wasnt comfortable with them leaving the country and also missing a week and a half of school, so I told him I moved it to August. Would I be 'nagging' if I emailed him again on Monday, about the subject? I told him I would be sending the passport application next week to him to be signed.

If he still doesn't respond, should I try to call his lawyer? (who is also high conflict). Or should I go to the court and ask them how to self represent, and ask a judge for permission?
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:10 PM
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BTW, I never self represented before. I used NS Legal Aid in the past, and do not qualify for it anymore with my income. And I would really hate to spend a couple thousand on a lawyer too , since by then I would lose half the vacation money and it would be pointless

Last edited by mykidsfirst; 03-08-2012 at 05:11 PM. Reason: to add
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