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  1. #1
    help123 is offline Junior Member
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    can i take my kid out of country without my spouse's permission

    What is the name of your state? VA

    I am currently discussing separation/divorce with my spouse, but no legal steps have been taken yet. I am now with my kid (2 years old) in VA, and I want to take him out of the country to my parent's place. I was told that I can't take him without my spouse's permission. I tried to search related information online, but failed. Can anyone professional help me?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. #2
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by help123 View Post
    What is the name of your state? VA

    I am currently discussing separation/divorce with my spouse, but no legal steps have been taken yet. I am now with my kid (2 years old) in VA, and I want to take him out of the country to my parent's place. I was told that I can't take him without my spouse's permission. I tried to search related information online, but failed. Can anyone professional help me?

    Thanks a lot.
    Theoretically, you can take the child wherever you want as long as there is no court order prohibiting it. However, You can't get a passport for the child without dad's signature or a court order and there is a VERY good chance that you will be required to produce a statement from dad or a court order at the airport that allows you to take the child out of the country. Even if you somehow managed to get past these roadblocks, dad can head to the courthouse the second you leave and get a court order for the child's return.
  3. #3
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    To add to what Ceara stated, when my ex wanted to take our daughter (who has dual citizenship of Canadian and American) to Canada he was stopped three times and asked for a notarized letter stating that I gave permission for her to leave the country. If he didn't have it he would not have been able to leave the country with her. And that is JUST Canada -- by that I mean it is not usually that difficult to get into Canada compared to other countries.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  4. #4
    texgirl is offline Member
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    Actually, my experience has been that taking a child to Canada is the most difficult, perhaps because it has a reputation as a place where parents flee in custody cases. In flying with my daughter out of the country to China and the UK, I never encountered any problem, but Canada was a problem. Maybe with the new passport policy that will change, since as someone else noted, having a passport requires the other's parents approval. When in doubt, be prepared to produce your court docs.
  5. #5
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by texgirl View Post
    Actually, my experience has been that taking a child to Canada is the most difficult, perhaps because it has a reputation as a place where parents flee in custody cases. In flying with my daughter out of the country to China and the UK, I never encountered any problem, but Canada was a problem. Maybe with the new passport policy that will change, since as someone else noted, having a passport requires the other's parents approval. When in doubt, be prepared to produce your court docs.
    Court docs are not enough however to avoid contempt of court or other problems even if the country will let you in or out. And OP may not have court docs since she refers to the person as her "spouse". If they are in the midst of a divorce she may get nailed for leaving the jurisdiction with the children without permission.

    And either contempt or leaving jurisdiction may be enough to sway custody to dad.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  6. #6
    texgirl is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohiogal View Post
    Court docs are not enough however to avoid contempt of court or other problems even if the country will let you in or out. And OP may not have court docs since she refers to the person as her "spouse". If they are in the midst of a divorce she may get nailed for leaving the jurisdiction with the children without permission.

    And either contempt or leaving jurisdiction may be enough to sway custody to dad.
    I don't see how she can be held in contempt if there is no legal restriction at this time, same with leaving jurisdiction. You can't be in contempt of an order that doesn't exist! Of course, if her spouse files something, she will have to come back or face sanctions.
  7. #7
    texgirl is offline Member
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    Just another thought. It is unclear whether the poster is talking about VISITING parents or relocating. If the former, why not send your husband a letter stating that you are going to visit mom and dad and give dates, flight numbers, and contact numbers. He may try to stop your or he may not, but in either case if he tries to use this against you in the future, you will be covered.
  8. #8
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    To leave the US with one's child really requires that one be prepared to provide written proof that the other parent, or a court order, has authorized removal of the child from the US. My husband and I were scrutinized very carefully when we travelled with our own daughter both to Canada, to Mexico, to Jamaica and to Dominican Republic. They carefully reviewed her and our passports to make certain we were both her parents both before we could board the plane with her, and before the foreign jurisdiction passed up through their custom at entry.


    One parent can't so easilly just up and leave the US.

    I know some families leaving on their adoption pick-up trips, bringing the future olders sib with them while one parent stayed homes with younger sib thatt couldn't travel, and they needed WRITTEN, notarized permission to remove the kids from the US.
  9. #9
    help123 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks to all of you for giving me suggestions and inputting your knowledge, I really appreciate.

    To clarify more: my kid does hold a valid US passport and a valid VISA to the country we'd like to visit. And the purpose of the trip is visiting, not relocating. Seems like I should be able to take him out of US without further written docs from my spouse, right?

    Ceara19, you mentioned that 'dad can head to the courthouse the second you leave and get a court order for the child's return'. What is a court order? If we havent yet started any legal step, does a court order work as my spouse filing for separation/divorce?

    Thanks again.
  10. #10
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by help123 View Post
    Thanks to all of you for giving me suggestions and inputting your knowledge, I really appreciate.

    To clarify more: my kid does hold a valid US passport and a valid VISA to the country we'd like to visit. And the purpose of the trip is visiting, not relocating. Seems like I should be able to take him out of US without further written docs from my spouse, right?

    Ceara19, you mentioned that 'dad can head to the courthouse the second you leave and get a court order for the child's return'. What is a court order? If we havent yet started any legal step, does a court order work as my spouse filing for separation/divorce?
    Thanks again.
    You need to google, and read a lot about your state's laws.
  11. #11
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by help123 View Post
    Thanks to all of you for giving me suggestions and inputting your knowledge, I really appreciate.

    To clarify more: my kid does hold a valid US passport and a valid VISA to the country we'd like to visit. And the purpose of the trip is visiting, not relocating. Seems like I should be able to take him out of US without further written docs from my spouse, right?

    Ceara19, you mentioned that 'dad can head to the courthouse the second you leave and get a court order for the child's return'. What is a court order? If we havent yet started any legal step, does a court order work as my spouse filing for separation/divorce?

    Thanks again.
    If the child already has both a passport and a visa, dad had to have already signed for both of them. Its possible that you wouldn't have any problem making the visit. However, it would be better to have dad's agreement as well.
  12. #12
    fairisfair is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    If the child already has both a passport and a visa, dad had to have already signed for both of them. Its possible that you wouldn't have any problem making the visit. However, it would be better to have dad's agreement as well.
    It is also possible that dad signed for them while they were still together. I would say she definitely still needs dad's agreement.
  13. #13
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fairisfair View Post
    It is also possible that dad signed for them while they were still together. I would say she definitely still needs dad's agreement.
    And dad's permission notarized since dad is NOT traveling with them.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  14. #14
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by texgirl View Post
    I don't see how she can be held in contempt if there is no legal restriction at this time, same with leaving jurisdiction. You can't be in contempt of an order that doesn't exist! Of course, if her spouse files something, she will have to come back or face sanctions.
    I was not referring to this poster but to court docs in general. so that someone doesn't get the idea that just becaues they have full or sole custody that means they can leave the country without the other parent's permission with the children.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  15. #15
    PhionaC is offline Junior Member
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    Dont Risk It

    I thought I would risk taking my 10 year old daughter from San Diego back to Macau permanently after our divorce. I did not have my ex's permission but I did have full physical custody.
    Within only 1 week we had local investigators at the door and my daughter and I were forcefully returned to San Diego. I had to stand trial in the abduction of my own daughter! To avoid jail time I had to plea 'no contest' and ended up losing custody of my daughter permanently.
    Now I can only see her for limited hours per week with a county social worker present.
    It has been devastating and I SHOULD HAVE NEVER RISKED IT. I would give anything to be able to go back in time and just be 'stuck in the US' with custody and my daughter
    -- Phiona Chan

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