Under Most Decrees, It’s Not Necessary to Have the Moms Consent
Video Transcribed: I’m a Tulsa Fathers’ Rights attorney. Today, I want to talk to you about traveling with the kids. You’ve got that vacation planned. You’ve been planning for months, and the vacation involves taking the children out of state. What are your obligations to the other parent?
Assuming it’s scheduled on your time, what are your obligations to the children’s mother as far as this travel goes? Well, the long and short of it is you do have to notify the children’s mother if you’re going to take the children out of state.
Normally under most decrees, it’s not necessary to have their consent. It’s just they need to be notified, and they have to be made aware of where they can locate the children. Now, that’s provided that the travel would not last for a duration of more than two weeks.
In other words, if you’re planning a week or two in, let’s say, Disney World, you do have to provide notice of things like where they’ll be staying and how to contact the children when they’re out of state. If you do longer-term travel, that could be considered a relocation, which comes under another statute.
But for the purposes of a vacation, the main thing is notice. Now, sometimes you will get a court order in place that says you actually have to get approval, and in that case, then that’s obvious you have to get approval and agreement. The main thing, though, is to keep the other parent advised of the fact of where the children are and how they can be contacted. Now, that’s for domestic travel.
If you’re talking about taking the children out of the country, that you will need the other parent’s approval. And if the other parent wants to take the child out, like mom was to take the children out of the country, she will need your approval. International travel is a tricky one.
That’s something that if you are looking at a situation where you’re thinking of taking the children out of the country for a vacation, or she’s thinking of taking the children out of the country for a vacation, it would be a very good idea to consult with legal counsel. Someone who is familiar with the laws of where they’re going because laws in different countries vary greatly.
One issue that can come up is what happens if the parent that left the country with the kids doesn’t come back? If the kids don’t come back? And again, the law varies greatly depending on what country we’re talking about. So before you agree to that, make sure that you know where she’s going and what the local laws are about custody and visitation.
And whether or not your decree, custody order or whatever is going to be enforceable there. I think it goes without saying if you do not have an order, you do not want to consent to that. You definitely do not want to consent to that because if you don’t have an order, then you may or may not be able to get the kids back.
Now a third consideration, if you’re not married to the children’s mother and you have not established paternity, and she’s making noises about taking the kids out of the country, now is the time to file something and get her served immediately. Seriously, don’t mess around. Don’t delay. File something now. Because if you’re not adjudicated as a dad, then you have no way to stop her from leaving the country, and you probably have no way to make her bring the kids back.
So, if you’re dealing with that kind of a situation, get on top of it. And I would say the same thing if she’s going to travel out of state with the kids for any real length of time, and you haven’t been adjudicated, get adjudicated. Really, if you haven’t been adjudicated, whether she’s traveling or not, get adjudicated because that’s the only way you can establish rights.
The last thing you want to have happened is to have your children’s mother take the child or children you love and disappear with them either into another state or another country. This kind of thing does happen.
So, take it seriously, get adjudicated. If you know you have a kid out of wedlock, get adjudicated. If you have questions or need help with any of these situations we’ve talked about today, go to dads.law, where fathers are not disposable.