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Cruising with children without notarized letter from ex spouse

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Hello,

I have read different post regarding this topic...and get more nervous about cruising as the days past and I keep planning!!!

 

I want to take a cruise with my two children this summer on Carnival Dream to the Bahamas. I have primary custody, however we are listed on the final decree as joint managing conservators; AND, he is NOT allowed to have possession of access to the children without completing various requirements set forth by the judge-which he refuses to. With that said, he has not been in my children's lives for nearly 3 years now. We have ZERO communication with him. I am also listed to have exclusive rights to everything; however, travel is not one of them- actually travel isn't mentioned in my final order at all. Long story short, I can not get them passports- without his signature (and I do not want to establish contact with him).

 

I have read that there is a CHANCE that Carnival or the Port Authority's office could request (because we are not traveling with their dad) that I provide a notarized letter from him stating it is fine that I am traveling out of the country with them. Does anyone know this to be true? I will say, my kiddos and I have the same last name...and I plan on traveling with my Final Decree- it just worries me because it does say we are JMC's- but me having primary residence and exclusive rights.

 

Also, I have contacted Carnival (via phone) and they said I would not need any letter from Dad.

 

I appreciate any insight you guys might have, or if anyone has cruised with a similar circumstance.

 

Thank you!!

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I would bring your decree but you might want to consider getting your attorney to modify the decree giving you complete control. It does seem that the father would object.

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Hello,

I have read different post regarding this topic...and get more nervous about cruising as the days past and I keep planning!!!

 

I want to take a cruise with my two children this summer on Carnival Dream to the Bahamas. I have primary custody, however we are listed on the final decree as joint managing conservators; AND, he is NOT allowed to have possession of access to the children without completing various requirements set forth by the judge-which he refuses to. With that said, he has not been in my children's lives for nearly 3 years now. We have ZERO communication with him. I am also listed to have exclusive rights to everything; however, travel is not one of them- actually travel isn't mentioned in my final order at all. Long story short, I can not get them passports- without his signature (and I do not want to establish contact with him).

 

I have read that there is a CHANCE that Carnival or the Port Authority's office could request (because we are not traveling with their dad) that I provide a notarized letter from him stating it is fine that I am traveling out of the country with them. Does anyone know this to be true? I will say, my kiddos and I have the same last name...and I plan on traveling with my Final Decree- it just worries me because it does say we are JMC's- but me having primary residence and exclusive rights.

 

Also, I have contacted Carnival (via phone) and they said I would not need any letter from Dad.

 

I appreciate any insight you guys might have, or if anyone has cruised with a similar circumstance.

 

Thank you!!

Carnival isn't who will require it, it is Customs. You have a 99% chance of no problem. However, if your Ex is a hater, he can call and alert them that his children are being removed from the country.

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Several years ago I traveled with my underage step daughter and my two children. We had letters from the other parents (not notarized) but we were never even asked for them. I’m not sure if they have become more strict on this, but then it was no big deal.

 

 

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Can it be an issue and you are denied boarding? Yes

Will you? Most likely not

 

Want to be 100?

Pay your attorney to get formal approval from the court.

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I've never had a letter from my daughter's father to take her on a cruise and she's been on 6 so far. We've also taken my step son and never needed a letter from his mother. Then again their parents wouldn't make a fuss over it so I'd definitely check with an attorney.

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I read those same things. We had a similar situation with my stepson, father was never in his life after about age 3 at all and we had no way of locating him if we wanted to.

 

We brought copies of the final decree showing her as having primary custody, no one asked for it in the 8 or so cruises we went on before he hit 18.

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We have always taken a letter, but have never been asked. Also this is a closed loop cruise correct? Meaning starting and ending in USA at same port. Generally looked upon as you are leaving and coming back .

Truthfully, I think your bigger issue is one day getting a passport . We have a blended family and thought it was definitely more work to get passports for the kids. Completely understand why the government makes certain requirements, but it is not effortless .

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I would bring your decree but you might want to consider getting your attorney to modify the decree giving you complete control. It does seem that the father would object.

 

Then who at the pier check-in desk reads these decree modifications? Do they have Judges, Magistrates and Paralegals at the port to go over these documents?

 

If it's your kids, traveling with you their mother, neither Carnival or the Port Authority will ask for any documentation other than their birth certificates to get on a closed loop cruise.

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My girlfriend and I cruised this past January with her daughter without a letter from her ex and had no issues at all.

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The Bahamas nor the us require this letter. You are fine to go.

 

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Then who at the pier check-in desk reads these decree modifications? Do they have Judges, Magistrates and Paralegals at the port to go over these documents?

 

If it's your kids, traveling with you their mother, neither Carnival or the Port Authority will ask for any documentation other than their birth certificates to get on a closed loop cruise.

 

 

It just isn't that clear cut, that is why there are always questions.

 

From Carnival:

Traveling with a Minor

When traveling with a minor where one parent or both parents or legal guardians are not cruising, we strongly recommend bringing an original signed letter from the absent parent(s) or legal guardians authorizing the minor to travel with you. This will expedite processing by the Department of Homeland Security.

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This board will be interesting when (not if) a non custodial parent takes a child out of the country via cruise ship, gets off at a foreign port and disappears.

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Sorry you have that worry. My daughter has custody of the children but he has visitation rights and gets kids every other weekend. She needs a notarized letter from him every time she cruises, and sometimes he is a complete jerk making her wait until the last minute before giving it. The kids all have passports, as they were obtained prior to divorce. As for my daughter in law, she went through hell getting her ex to sign for a passport for her young son, so he could cruise with her and my son, his step father.

 

 

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Have never been asked for a letter. See signature line for various cruises taken. Have a great trip.

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I cruise with my son all the time and have never had an issue. I am not sure how they would even know you are divorced. I have never been asked at port, customs, airport security. You will be fine.

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I definitely wouldn't go without it - too much of a risk. I came through customs with my nephew last year and the agent we had was in training. Asked many, many questions and looked at every document we had - including passport, birth certificate and notarized travel/medical forms.

 

Maybe have your attorney contact on your behalf, to avoid direct communication?

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That's the thing...he would have no clue. He asked to have his rights relinquished, but the judge wouldn't allow it so he would still have to pay child support. He has made zero attempts to contact them in 3 years. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

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I cruise with my kids all the time, I have never been ask at check-in for anything. I had a problem only once at the airport going on an international one way flight. Never even been asked on a cruise.

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That's the thing...he would have no clue. He asked to have his rights relinquished, but the judge wouldn't allow it so he would still have to pay child support. He has made zero attempts to contact them in 3 years. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

A smart judge I know won't terminate rights without good cause because she says even bad parents win the lottery.

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My daughter went with her kids and no letter was requested. Also her x took the kids on a trans Atlantic cruise....no letter!

 

 

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I've been cruising alone with my son since he was 3. He's now 10. We have cruised on several different lines, but mostly with Carnival. I've never been so much as questioned. Ever. I've never had anything but his passport. Happy sailing!

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If it's your kids, traveling with you their mother, neither Carnival or the Port Authority will ask for any documentation other than their birth certificates to get on a closed loop cruise.

 

I hate when people make such a blanket statement that is SO false that is not funny.

 

If you are divorced, you might need permission from the other parent. that's how divorce decree's can work. if this is the case and you don't have this permission, your ex can totally 100% stop you and it would be within the ex's right. The CBT can stop any single parent they want to find this information out

 

Just because they are 'your' kids , doesn't mean they are not also the ex's kids and they have rights too.

 

CBT has been known to ask. it is very infrequent and I don't think anyone knows exactly when they ask.

 

To the OP.

There is a 99% chance that they wont ask

There is a tiny chance they will ask and you will have a delay until they are satisfied

I have never heard anyone denied boarding because of this but I cant say it never happened

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Then who at the pier check-in desk reads these decree modifications? Do they have Judges, Magistrates and Paralegals at the port to go over these documents?

 

If it's your kids, traveling with you their mother, neither Carnival or the Port Authority will ask for any documentation other than their birth certificates to get on a closed loop cruise.

 

Number one, it's not Carnival but Customs. With that being said, your statement is irrelevant. The Port Authority is not in control either. US immigration is.

 

A passport is a permission so when traveling out of the country, you don't need extra paper. The passport is the permission. However, the requirements get muddy when you don't have a permission. Thousands daily travel without extra permission, but just like the lady with the "Apple" in the news this week, what seems logical and done thousands of times, does not make it legal or right and you could be that one unlucky person they request the letter from. So without a passport, you need a letter. If you decide not to have the letter, it's your risk, and no one on this site can predict what you need, or if you will be the unlucky one. Just remember the Apple and decide.

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Number one, it's not Carnival but Customs. With that being said, your statement is irrelevant. The Port Authority is not in control either. US immigration is.

 

A passport is a permission so when traveling out of the country, you don't need extra paper. The passport is the permission. However, the requirements get muddy when you don't have a permission. Thousands daily travel without extra permission, but just like the lady with the "Apple" in the news this week, what seems logical and done thousands of times, does not make it legal or right and you could be that one unlucky person they request the letter from. So without a passport, you need a letter. If you decide not to have the letter, it's your risk, and no one on this site can predict what you need, or if you will be the unlucky one. Just remember the Apple and decide.

 

 

I agree with you on all of this but I don't think the passport is 100% implied permission.

 

if I give my ex (I am married without an ex so im just providing an example lol), permission to travel on a cruise in January and she gets a passport for the kids, all is good.

 

1 year later she wants to take the kids on another cruise on the time I am supposed to spend time with them and I refuse, she can try to take them with passports but if I report this, the CBT will be there waiting for her and will give her a problem even though she has passports for the kids.

 

Im not certain passports are the thing that designates whether or not she needs the letter. I think the single parent should always have the letter

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