Travelling with children can provide many cherished moments. However, there is more to consider than when and where to travel, and what to pack. If you plan on taking your child abroad, especially when travelling as a solo parent, there may be legal issues to sort out. For example, in many cases a consent form will be required, particularly under the following conditions.
You may need a consent form if your child plans to travel part (or all) of the distance alone. A consent form may be necessary when your child is travelling with a group, or when your child travels with a parent (or guardian) who does not have sole-custody. Documentation of this type is most critical when you travel overseas. Other matters, such as applying for your child’s passport, also necessitate parental consent. In Australia, it is recommended that a legal consent form be obtained for any of the situations listed above.
Travelling with a parent who has sole custody:
Even when a parent has sole custody, documentation is advised. A notarized copy, stating that the guardian was awarded sole-custody because of divorce, may be required. Alternatively, in the event that a parent is deceased, a death certificate may suffice. Additionally, if your child will be travelling alone for part of the journey, one signature may be enough for consent form purposes. In any case, finding out the legal recommendations can help ward off unexpected problems and delays. Legal Vision, for example, offers affordable legal specialists who can help explain the exact prerequisites.
Consent forms for shared-guardianship:
If a child whose parents share guardianship travels alone, both signatures are required on the form. If one parent plans to go abroad with the child, a consent form signed by the other parent will be necessary. As soon as you begin to plan your travels, it helps to find out exactly what documentation is mandatory. Make sure that you have plenty of time to take care of necessary preparations. It is important not to take any matter for granted and to be prepared.
Certification for Specific Countries:
Certain countries may request very specific child-consent forms. Brazil, for example, requires special certification for minors and contacting their consulate directly can provide helpful information. Since some of the paperwork may take weeks or months to process, you will want to start checking into the necessary procedures as early as possible.
Preparing to Take your Child Abroad
Parents can fully appreciate the pleasures and wonders of travelling with children. Nevertheless, you will want to keep in mind that many of the benefits afforded in your native country may expire once you leave home. While support systems are in place, your personal rights may be quite different in other countries. The best way to avoid unexpected events that could spoil your trip is to consider specific travel advisories. Look into insurance coverage (including medical), have consent forms and documentation in place and close at hand, and plan for the unexpected. Then most importantly… enjoy!