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Essentials for air travel with kids post-divorce

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2023 | Family Law |

The end of your marriage does not need to mean the end of travel. Exploring other countries with your children can be enjoyable and educational if you do it right. If, however, you are not fully prepared, you probably won’t leave the ground.

Airport officials will almost certainly ask to see certain documentation before they let you step on the plane as a lone adult with a minor child. While it might seem intrusive, they are just doing their job, part of which is to protect minors from trafficking or kidnap.

Here is what you may need to show:

Parental permission

Yes, you are the child’s parent but the assumption is that the children’s other parent will also have some level of custody over the children. As leaving the country could violate their rights (and the rights of your children to see their other parent) officials will ask for proof of permission.

Getting a notary to stamp a signed letter of consent to travel from the other parent is best. If they will not willingly give it then you may need to seek written permission from a court instead. If the other parent is dead, consider taking a copy of their death certificate.

Proof that you are the parent

How does the airport official know that you are your child’s parent? Firstly they will look at your behavior and that of your children to see if you seem natural together. If you don’t (and perhaps even if you do) they may ask questions of you or your child. The easiest way to avoid this is to have documentation such as a copy of your child’s birth certificate showing your relationship. 

If the child is your adopted child, a copy of the adoption certificate should suffice. Officials may be especially suspicious if your child has a different skin tone or visually appears to be of a different nationality to you. In all cases, there is never any harm in having more proof than you need.

Thinking about all this when making custody arrangements paves the way for easier travel post-divorce.

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