I am the custodial parent and was recently permitted to relocate with my three children from Washington to Massachusetts for work. The mother lives in Washington and has no contact or visitation with the children. I want to take my kids out of country to Canada on some short weekend trips and have tentative plans for a two week extended trip to Europe with my oldest (7) in the next two years.
What steps do I need to take in order to take my children out of country? How can I combat this if the mother refuses?
Per new regulations and at February 1, 2008 both parents, signatures are required for the entry of the passport for children under the age of 16. You could find information on the State Department’s website at this location: http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppi/family/family_866.html.
Most parenting plans would not prevent you from taking their children out of the country if it does not interfere with the visitation schedule of the other parent. Most parenting plans would require notification to the other parent and require providing them with an itinerary and specific travel plans. I suggest you review your judgment and parenting plan to confirm that there are no such restrictions specific your case.
If your ex-wife does refuse to sign for the passport. You will need to file a motion with the court and request the court order her to sign on the passport papers. There is a question about jurisdiction in your case. It would appear from the limited facts provided that mother has limited contact with Massachusetts and may be difficult to get personal jurisdiction over her. Therefore it would appear that Washington would be the appropriate state to file the motion.