Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

Pennsylvania Child Custody Topic of the Week: Traveling Abroad

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A post-divorce trip to Jamaica with your children may be just what the doctor ordered to help you get over the stress of the Pennsylvania divorce process, and if you are like me, you can't wait to hang out on the beach. But before you call your travel agent and start packing your bags, you need to be sure that you are legally protected. In today's blog you Allegheny County Child Custody Lawyers discuss the ways in which a single parent that wishes to travel with his or her minor children will be legally protected to do so.

Especially after a PA divorce, tensions between the former spouses may be high. Even if the parents were never married, there are many situations in which the parents just simply don't get along. If you find yourself in this kind of situation, getting the consent of the other parent to allow your child to travel with you, especially if you are traveling abroad, is a must. Obtaining consent is recommended even if you are the parent that has primary custody of the children. You will also want to obtain the consent of the other parent if your child is going on a school-sanctioned trip.

The first thing you need to do is inform the other parent of your travel plans. Even if he or she agrees to let the children travel, you should get that consent in writing. The best way to make sure you are legally protected and not charged with kidnapping your own children when you try to take them on a vacation is by obtaining a consent letter.

The consent letter should include as much information as possible about the planned vacation and details about the children, and who they will be travelling with. Things that you should be sure to include in this letter include:

  • Names and contact information of both parents
  • Name and information about the children
  • Information about the accompanying person (if not the parent)
  • Places to be visited and dates of travel
  • Addresses and phone numbers of all places the kids will be staying

Once the letter is drafted, it is in your best interest to get the letter notarized to make it official. Schedule a time with the other parent to go to a local UPS store, or any other place where they have a notary, so your signatures will make the letter a legal document.

If you are facing a PA child custody issue, contact our team of family lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our Western Pennsylvania child custody attorneys can provide you with the legal guidance you need to assist you with your case.

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