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Travel with Minor Children

Many custody orders will provide whether the parties are entitled to vacation time with the children in addition to their regularly scheduled time as well as any relevant notice provisions. A standard provision includes at least thirty days advance notice to the other parent and all details of the itinerary/contact information for the children while away. Parties may want to consider going into additional detail about any restraints on travel, particularly out of state or out of country. It's good practice to provide that international travel may only be by written consent of both parties or court order. Parties should pay attention to which country the other parent intends to travel to and whether that country belongs to the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction and would recognize a U.S. custody order if necessary. 

Every person, regardless of age, must have a passport to travel out of the country. Initial passport applications for children under sixteen (16) years of age must be made in person. Both parents of the child should be present. If one of the parents cannot be physically present, they may complete a parental consent form instead. This form must be notarized and a copy of the parent's ID must accompany the form. There are exceptions to the requirement of the consent of both parents including court order or proof of sole custody. Additionally, there is an application to obtain passport without the other parent on the basis of exigent circumstances and the unavailability of the other parent. You can visit the U.S. Department of State website for additional details on the requirements to obtain a passport at travel.state.gov. 

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