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beachpeke

Traveling with kids with shared custody

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Does anyone know what information I need if I am traveling with my child and the other parent is not going? Do I need to bring a notarized letter from the absent parent, if so, what does it need to include?

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Although we have never been asked for it, we do ask our kids mom for a letter stating that she know that they are going with us.

We had it notarized once, but not since. Just a letter works!

 

We always include the kids names and the dates we are going!

 

Hope that helps.

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We just put what ship, the dates & where we were going & that the other parent agreed. Gave it to them & they had it notarized & gave it back.

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As a solo adult parent traveling with your own 2 children and no spouse, you are going to get many varied answers here with what people do "just in case."

 

And you will see most people's experiences is that they have not been asked for any permission letters, court orders or death certificates by Carnival check in port employees because it's not their job to referee and enforce custody issues.

 

As long as the children aren't making a scene and saying things like " Help!! she's not my mommy. We don't know this lady" and as long as they have the proper citizenship documents and ID if 16 and older, you will be able to check in for your cruise with no hassle at all.

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When minors (18 and under) are NOT traveling with a relative, we strongly recommend bringing an original signed letter from the absent parent/legal guardian authorizing the minor to travel. *This will expedite processing by the Department of Homeland Security. Please note that a notarized letter to this effect is required if debarking with children in Mexico.

Infants must be at least six months old (twelve months for Transatlantic, Hawaii and South America cruises) to be eligible to travel.

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As a custody lawyer, I'll tell you to bring a copy of your order of custody and a notarized permission letter from the other parent which includes the dates and a general description of the trip.

 

As a parent who has cruised with my kids since 2005 without their dad, I can tell you I've never once been asked. One time crossing the bridge into Canada (I live on the CDN border) I had a border patrol guy once ask my kids " who is this woman driving?" and of course they said "my mom."

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When minors (18 and under) are NOT traveling with a relative, we strongly recommend bringing an original signed letter from the absent parent/legal guardian authorizing the minor to travel. *This will expedite processing by the Department of Homeland Security. Please note that a notarized letter to this effect is required if debarking with children in Mexico.

Infants must be at least six months old (twelve months for Transatlantic, Hawaii and South America cruises) to be eligible to travel.

 

 

In this case the minor IS traveling with a relative. Her mother.

 

The above information you posted would be recommended if her daughter was bringing along a friend who is a minor and the friend's mother or father or legal guardian were not on the cruise.

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As a parent who has cruised with my kids since 2005 without their dad, I can tell you I've never once been asked.

 

One time crossing the bridge into Canada (I live on the CDN border) I had a border patrol guy once ask my kids " who is this woman driving?" and of course they said "my mom."

 

Which is what I said in my original post in the 2nd paragraph.

 

The poster is obviously concerned about being denied boarding at the pier and not being able to get on the ship without a 2nd parent present which is a legitimate question. That bring said... the Carnival check in agents at the pier are not cops and have neither the time nor interest to read, interpret or enforce custody papers that as an attorney you know can often be long and wordy and sometimes ambiguously written.

 

On the other hand, upon returning back to the US after visiting a foreign country, you do encounter US Customs and Border Patrol who may possibly do the same thing as you encountered at the Canadian border and ask the child "Who is this woman?"

Edited by AdGuyMG

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As a divorced father of two teen girls I have been on five cruises with them and never been questioned about custody etc. Anyone could get a notorized letter which would mean diddly squat nothing. The notory only verifies that the name being signed on the form is the person signing. The notary does not know if the person signing is a parent , friend , or total stranger.

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Let us be sure you have what you need and stop speculating. I have sitting about 6 inches from my right hand a for entitled "CONSENT FOR MINOR CHILDREN TO TRAVEL. I got this from the Carnival website. I would suggest downloading this, having other spouse sign it in front of a Notary who will also sign it.

 

This will assure no problems boarding and will assure you of right to have child treated in the event of a medical emergency.

 

No, I have no knowledge of anyone being denied boarding, but this will eliminate any doubt, won't it?

 

Doc

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I am still legally married to my sons dad ...so I have no custody papers can or do they check for that ? My son will be 17 has a passport and his father isnt around to obtain consent ???

Edited by dramaqueenjan

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I am still legally married to my sons dad ...so I have no custody papers can or do they check for that ? My son will be 17 has a passport and his father isnt around to obtain consent ???

Do you have the same last name? If so, I wouldn't worry about it.

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As a long time cruiser and a single parent, here's my take.

 

Let us be sure you have what you need and stop speculating.

I agree. Lets stop speculating. You don't need nor will you be asked for any permission documentation if you are traveling solo with your own child who has a passport or proper birth certificate that most likely has your name on it.

 

I have sitting about 6 inches from my right hand a for entitled "CONSENT FOR MINOR CHILDREN TO TRAVEL. I got this from the Carnival website. I would suggest downloading this, having other spouse sign it in front of a Notary who will also sign it.

 

This did not come from the "Know Before You Go" section of the Carnival website. You probably got this from the Carnival Funville forum that had a link to some 3rd party cruise site like SeaUonboard that has all kinds of forms. The one they have for traveling with a minor who is not your child should be downloaded and may prove useful.

 

This will assure no problems boarding and will assure you of right to have child treated in the event of a medical emergency.

So now you are saying that a parent needs to secure written permission from another parent to make an emergency medical decision?

 

No, I have no knowledge of anyone being denied boarding...

Because parents traveling solo with their own children board cruise ships every week without hassle or requests to see permission forms from cruise terminal check in agents.

 

but this will eliminate any doubt, won't it?

No. Documents and signatures can still be forged or Photoshopped. But if it eases your mind, who am I to tell you what to bring or not bring on your cruise? But you will be bringing along a document you will never be asked for when traveling solo with your own child irregardless of any divorces, separations, estrangements, abandonments, incarcerations or custody and visitation agreements. These things are not the responsibility of any cruise line to enforce or make judgement upon at the time of check in

 

Edited by AdGuyMG

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In this case the minor IS traveling with a relative. Her mother.

 

The above information you posted would be recommended if her daughter was bringing along a friend who is a minor and the friend's mother or father or legal guardian were not on the cruise.

 

Thank you for that.

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As a solo adult parent traveling with your own 2 children and no spouse, you are going to get many varied answers here with what people do "just in case."

 

And you will see most people's experiences is that they have not been asked for any permission letters, court orders or death certificates by Carnival check in port employees because it's not their job to referee and enforce custody issues.

 

As long as the children aren't making a scene and saying things like " Help!! she's not my mommy. We don't know this lady" and as long as they have the proper citizenship documents and ID if 16 and older, you will be able to check in for your cruise with no hassle at all.

 

I agree that Carnival personnel at check-in won't bother that much, but US Customs on debarkation back in the home port sure might. Insufficient documentation at this point after the cruise can lead to serious questioning and time delays.

Edited by evandbob

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Have been on 10 cruises with my children who have a different last name as mine and have brought several of their friends along from time to time. I bring my children's fathers death certificate, my marriage license, a notarized consent from the parents of the friends all due to my travel agent recommendation. I have never been asked for any of the above from any cruise line, airport or homeland security. However, the first time I don't bring it...

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

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In this case the minor IS traveling with a relative. Her mother.

 

The above information you posted would be recommended if her daughter was bringing along a friend who is a minor and the friend's mother or father or legal guardian were not on the cruise.

 

The information I posted is from Carnival's web site. However, having been the subject of custody disputes between feuding parents, the custody agreements including travel agreements and forbade out of state/country travel without court approval.

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As long as the children aren't making a scene and saying things like " Help!! she's not my mommy. We don't know this lady" and as long as they have the proper citizenship documents and ID if 16 and older, you will be able to check in for your cruise with no hassle at all.

 

Made me laugh! Going through customs in Heathrow, the agent asked my son if he knew me. My then 12 y/o son looked at me then back at the agent and deadpanned, "No, I've never seen her before in my life."

 

Good thing he looks just like me! The agent laughed and we went through.

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In my case we have same last name and uf adked he would srate he has alwsys lived with me ..Im not to concerned but some people dont get it ...its not always possible to get that letter I dont know where he is

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Since you are still LEGALLY married to him, I don't think you need anything.

You have the same last name.

 

US Customs has never asked use for anything; however, we are traveling as a family of 5, Dad, step-mom, 3 kids, all with the same last name.

 

I don't think you will have any problems, just don't say anything.

Or you can call Carnival and ask.

Say your husband isn't going, don't mention he isn't there to tell you yes or no.;)

See what they say.

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The information I posted is from Carnival's web site. However, having been the subject of custody disputes between feuding parents, the custody agreements including travel agreements and forbade out of state/country travel without court approval.

 

I am divorced from my son's mother and was caught in many a situation where my nasty ex-wife would spitefully not let me take my son out of state/ country, too. The issue of him going with me on a cruise was settled well before we arrived at the pier for check in. It was not resolved by a cruiseline check-in agent passing judgement on whether I was or was not in default of my custody agreement.

 

What you posted from the website would be recommended if her daughter was bringing along a friend who is a minor and the friend's mother or father or legal guardian were not on the cruise.

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I agree that Carnival personnel at check-in won't bother that much, but US Customs on debarkation back in the home port sure might. Insufficient documentation at this point after the cruise can lead to serious questioning and time delays.

 

Sufficient documentation at the time of passing thru US Customs upon return of the cruise would be the child's US passport or birth certificate which in most cases would have the birth parents name on it. I think that in this case, at the time of disembarkation the birth mother would be standing right next to the girl. And I doubt the question posed to the minor child would be anything tougher than "Who is this woman?" To which the child would most likely answer "She's my mom."

Edited by AdGuyMG

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You will get multiple responses to this question. Some will say you must have it, others will say you don't.

 

I live in NJ, where we listened for years to the ongoing saga of Sean Goldman, whose mother took him to visit relatives in Brazil, then contacted Sean's father, telling him that she was not returning. She got a divorce, remarried, and died in childbirth. Sean's stepfather came from a wealthy and powerful Brazilian family and they spent years refusing to allow Sean to go back to his father, and denying his father visitation.

 

It took years until Sean's father, David, regained custody of his son. So I am one of those people who believe that regardless of whether the last name is the same or not, a parent traveling with their child, without the other spouse, should get a letter of consent to travel. If there is a divorce situation, then it protects the traveling parent from being accused of taking a child without permission from a vindictive ex spouse, if it's a parent travelling without the other due to work or other conflicting schedules, it shouldn't present any problem.

 

Most of the time, you'll hear anecdotal stories that no one was ever asked for the paperwork. Then someone will say they saw a show where someone didn't have it and they were denied boarding.

 

If it's possible to get a letter, then I say, why not? Just because the language in most of these FAQs seem to lean towards letters for when you travel with a minor who is not your child? And people don't like to be TOLD what to do if they don't need to? I know that my custody agreement specifically states that if one parent is going to travel with the kids, then the other needs to give a letter of consent. I always send it to my ex about a month in advance for him to sign and have notarized (and since the letter specifically has his name in it, the notary would know if the person signing wasn't him, since they ask for ID). I prepared a letter of consent, signed it and had it notarized at work to give to him when he took the boys to WDW last year. He never asked for it. I gave it to my older son for safekeeping, since the boys are on my insurance and without the letter, I'm not sure what he could do with medical insurance without it.

 

If someone can't get it (because the other parent is nowhere to be found, or some other reason) then they just have to do what they feel is best for them. But for others who can, I am firmly in the "better safe than sorry" camp.

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Made me laugh! Going through customs in Heathrow, the agent asked my son if he knew me. My then 12 y/o son looked at me then back at the agent and deadpanned, "No, I've never seen her before in my life."

 

Good thing he looks just like me! The agent laughed and we went through.

 

My teen son did a similar thing when we crossed over from Canada to the USA.

That agent didn't have a sense of humor.

 

He was 14, and we were doing a land crossing late at night to catch a plane in Buffalo at 6 am -- and they woke him up and he was grumpy and tired, and they asked him who we were --

 

He responded "Clearly they are strangers that kidnapped me and decided to take me to Disney"

 

took 2 hours in the office to fix that --

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