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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 05-26-2013, 01:45 PM
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hadenough hadenough is offline
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Default Please Advise, re: Passport and Travel with 15 y/o child

I will aim to keep this brief. Custody/access order (from 2009) says I shall inform father of any travel, get notarized letter etc.

S15 has not seen or heard from "Dad" in a year. Dad cut off all contact (I have the venomous emails and text msgs, both to me and to S15).

The ex and I do not speak and haven't for 6 years. Have only seen him when we were in Court. Prior to a year ago, father saw son every 2nd wknd but was canceling a lot as well. Son canceled at times, too.

Do I really have to get his "permission/consent" to travel with my son ie: to the States, for a week? Ideally I'd like to get this clause struck, but given they don't see one another (and it's not looking like they will any time soon) - can I just apply for renewal of S15's passport myself and travel w/him, without being harassed by Customs? Unfortunately, son's surname is not the same as mine.

Thanks for any thoughts/advice.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:47 PM
SadAndTired SadAndTired is offline
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Are you flying or driving?
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:51 PM
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If/when I go - Flying. Definitely flying.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:13 PM
Qrious Qrious is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadenough View Post
Do I really have to get his "permission/consent" to travel with my son ie: to the States, for a week? Ideally I'd like to get this clause struck, but given they don't see one another (and it's not looking like they will any time soon) - can I just apply for renewal of S15's passport myself and travel w/him, without being harassed by Customs? Unfortunately, son's surname is not the same as mine.

Thanks for any thoughts/advice.
Technically, I believe you do need to have written consent (preferably notarized) by the other parent. My S was 10 when X and I separated. For the first number of trips after that, I had a Travel Consent letter signed and notarized (you can find a sample on the Canada Customs website) by his father.

After a few trips, I only had the letter signed and didn't bother with having it notarized. After a few more, I stopped getting the letter at all and just carried a copy of the SA. My SA does not specify a consent letter to travel out of country, though.

In the last 5 years (my son is now 15), we have traveled to Mexico 3 times and to the United States a number of times (probably a couple dozen or more), most recently in March for one week. The trips to the States are usually just weekend trips, usually for hockey. NO ONE HAS EVER ASKED FOR THE TRAVEL CONSENT LETTER OR A COPY OF THE SEPARATION AGREEMENT. Ever. We do not have the same last name either. Some trips we drove, some we flew. It didnt make any difference.

X was always aware of our trips, however.

So, it is advised by the government that you have one as you can be denied entry into the other country. If you choose to travel without one, you do so at your own risk and own expense.

I believe you can also ask for a judge to provide consent if the other parent is refusing to consent without a good reason... Or maybe if contact with the other parent has been lost....?

My s15 and I both are both Nexus Card carriers now, too. We crossed the border once with these, with no issue.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:18 PM
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Thank you and good to know all that. So how exactly does the Nexus card work? Its for driving across the border, right? And presumably there's an application process - what does that entail?
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:21 PM
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Hoping McDreamy, Tayken, PH, HammerDad and Orleans lawyer can weigh in on this thread

I am going for a variation of the Support order soon and a re-calculation of SS. Perhaps at that time, I can get the "consent" thing waived. (?)
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:30 PM
Qrious Qrious is offline
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Here is the Govt of Canada info and link to a sample letter and form letter:

Consent Letter for Children Travelling Abroad - Travel.gc.ca

Here is Nexus info. The Nexus cards make crossing the border, by air, car, or boat, easier and faster. You have to fill out an application, wait for approval, provide finger prints, and be interviewed to be given final approval. You can use the Nexus card in place of a passport when traveling between the States and Canada. I even use mine when flying within Canada, as they are accepted at Canadian airports as identification as well. Bottom line - You get to skip to the short line when traveling - that's why I got ours.

NEXUS Program Description - CBP.gov
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:40 PM
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Great info. Thanks so much.

IMO "Dad" has abandoned access and abandoned the child. I have written proof of this. I hope I would not have much difficulty getting the entire clause waived in a motion. It's glaringly obvious he couldn't care less about his relationship w/S15 and I am certain he doesn't give a hoot about where we go.
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:36 PM
JB514 JB514 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadenough View Post
Custody/access order (from 2009) says I shall inform father of any travel, get notarized letter etc.
So I guess you need his consent? Because INFORMING and Consent are two different things. When my ex took me to court to strike the need for consent from me, her explanation was that I have abandoned the child...blah, blah, blah, while I was the one with proof that it is my D who terminated our relationship.

But since we were in no contact for over a year, I asked the Judge for an order that my ex is to at least keep me Informed of the trips 30 days before the trip date. That was granted to me (ex is to email me the details of the trips, but she does not need my consent). As far as passport goes, you could ask in court for him to sign it right there, and the next time you will need passport, your son will be an adult and will not require parents' signatures (I signed the application in court that way).
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Old 05-26-2013, 03:50 PM
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Thx JB. I'm sorry that your D terminated the relationship. Perhaps in the future, she may reconsider. Thank you for the tips and sharing your personal experience.
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