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Old 02-24-2003, 01:46 PM   #1
FredS
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Any question/problem re: non-custodial parent' permission to cruise?

I am divorced for many years and have full custody of my two children. While discussing European vacation, passports and so forth a travel agent told me that in some instances it is wise to have a letter from non-custodial parent when traveling with your children.

We are booked for a March, 2004, cruise. Has anyone ever been questioned about this sort of thing on a Disney cruise? My two children have a different last name (I have remarried) and I did not know if we might encounter some problem. If push comes to shove, I could probably get such a letter, but would much rather not even go there with my ex. (Children don't see him often, and I would just as soon he not even know about the trip.)

Anyone traveling with children with a different last name who can tell me of their experience? Thanks!!!

Last edited by FredS; 02-24-2003 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 02-24-2003, 02:37 PM   #2
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Our last DCL cruise was in May 2002 and I was not questioned about my 13 year old son having a different last name. But I did have a letter of consent just in case I needed it. I haven't heard of anyone actually needing one though.
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Old 02-24-2003, 02:55 PM   #3
H Mathis
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We leave in two weeks on our cruise. I too am remarried so my 3 boys do have a different last name. My travel agent said that she had not had anyone report a problem but she did recommend that I have their father sign and have notarized an "affidavit of other parental consent" Fortunally he had no problem getting this back to me.
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Old 02-24-2003, 03:14 PM   #4
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I had a slightly different situation, my stepson came with us, and his mother has physical custody. I thought there might be a problem because the mother's name on the birth certificate is not the same as his brothers. I called DCL about it prior to leaving and they said there wouldn't be a problem, which there wasn't. In our case though, we all have the same last name.

A couple of years ago, my stepson went with his mom to the bahamas (different last names), and they didn't need a letter from my husband for him to go.

I would check with DCL prior to leaving to make sure. I would think if you brought your divorce papers stating you have custody, that should be good enough.
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Old 02-24-2003, 03:24 PM   #5
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I just thought about this, and when we made the reservation the travel agent (not the same one with whom we discussed Europe) took the information and it was obvious that my kids have a different name but she never said anything about consent. I guess I will call, but expect I will get the "get it just in case" response. The more I think about it, the more problem I feel sure it will create.

Hopefully I will lots of responses that it was not an issue at all and won't have to go there. Or perhaps I can take a certified copy of the divorce decree showing that I have full custody. But it makes me wonder what would happen in situations of international travel in which they definitely require permission -- what if there was no "other parent" to get permission from. That is, either a deceased parent, or parent who had entirely disappeared from the picture or perhaps a situation where there was no official declaration of paternity?
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Old 02-24-2003, 04:18 PM   #6
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In my case, we're still married, but I have my maiden name and my sons have my husband's name; as a result, from time to time I have to explain. I'd be inclined, in your situation, to get the permission if you reasonably can; you'll probably never need to pull it out, but you'll rest easier knowing you could.

Which March 2004 cruise are you going on? I'll be on the 3/20-27 Eastern cruise with dh, and sons age 9 and almost 6 (at that time).
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Old 02-24-2003, 04:29 PM   #7
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We'll be on that one, too!

We are on the March 20th, 2004, Eastern cruise! My daughter will be 15 and my son 8. This is our first cruise and we are beyond excited. I usually like to plan ahead, but it will be more than a year before this trip and that is entirely TOO long to anticipate!

I am really, REALLY not wanting to discuss this with my ex. He only sees them once a month, briefly, and would not know that they were gone, and I am concerned about several things, including him refusing to sign anything just to exert some power, making me "pay" for his consent -- it would be a good excuse in his mind to not pay child support, whining to us all about how we can afford to go on a cruise while he can't -- or else blatantly insisting that he won't sign unless I agree to not requiring child support. I also don't want him to know that we will be gone for a week. I simply don't trust this person at all, and he will NOT simply sign it, and be glad that the kids get to go.

On the other hand, I don't want to worry about it until the cruise. Yuck, what to do?
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Old 02-24-2003, 04:49 PM   #8
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FredS - I asked this same question a few months ago. Here is a link to the answers I got. If I only knew then what I know now http://www.disboards.com/showthread....hreadid=309205
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Old 02-24-2003, 04:57 PM   #9
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FredS, your ex can't even begin to link child support payments to this type of permission. I have the second wife, stepmother experience on the child support issue, and (as much as one might question where the money really goes sometimes -- which has nothing to do with your situation, it's my own bias speaking!) it is a moot point. The two are not related, or relatable, issues.

That said, because we've been on the receiving end of a mother taking a child out of the country without knowing her full intentions (which ultimately ended up in a situation where the child was put in danger) I do think you should tell the father about your plans. To be kept in the dark about the whereabouts of your children is very frustrating for a non-custodial parent. If you have an antagonistic relationship now, not telling him will not help improve it, and may create new issues. Or, depending the relationship your kids have, they may want to let him know, closer to departure time. (But that's just me sticking my nose in! )

You may want to ask him closer to the cruise, and position it more as something that is precautionary. There's really not a lot he can do to prevent you from going. (To prevent it would require a fair amount of expense on his part) If you have full custody of your kids, and your divorce decree states so, you can take it along and you should be fine.
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Old 02-24-2003, 05:11 PM   #10
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Travel, like I do....

There has been no contact since 1995, I receive no child support and when we travel I have all certified copies of Divorce, Custody, Annulment, Birth Certificate, Letter from my employer, Passport with her name on mine, Canadian Citizen papers.

This past trip in January was the first time they had asked about a letter. I courteously replied that we have not seen the other half since 1995 and this was the first time they took a look at the paperwork. As long as you have the certified copies of all paperwork all should be fine.

On the way back into Canada, Canadian Immigration had asked the same question, same response and then I got sympathy because the woman's daughter was going thru the same BS!

Hope this helps

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Old 02-24-2003, 05:49 PM   #11
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Sounds like you've got a lot of answers here to your question!

Your son and ours will be together in the Lab (or is it the Club?); we are also traveling with friends who have a dd who will turn 9 on the cruise! If you look back about 4 weeks in these threads, you'll eventually find one about others who will be on board that same week. This is a first cruise for my family. Some of us just think planning ahead is half the fun
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Old 02-24-2003, 05:59 PM   #12
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Well, Northernmouse, remember, while technically a person cannot link support payments with anything like travel - it doesn't mean that some people won't try.
I do agree with your comment about letting the other parent know.
In my experience, I find that it is best to make sure that I am <b>telling</b> my ex rather than indicating that I am looking for approval or permission (of course this only works if a person has full custody - joint could require permission). What has worked for me is a note sent with a short time left before the trip. This limits the rebuttal (and discussion between the ex and the child) but still gives my ex notice. I also try to include contact information - since I expect that (on the rare occasion that the situation is reversed).
Bring your paperwork (without a signed letter from the ex) and you should be fine.
Have a great trip!
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:24 PM   #13
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I fully understand not wanting to go there with your ex. Mine was financial very well off but whined all the time to the two boys about having to pay me child support. I was the custodial parent and he had visitation which he rarely used. Asking for his permission to take the boys on a cruise would open a can of worms in his mind and he would be impossible to deal with. (He doesn't even pay child support now, just his half of college and he still is whining!)

I agree, take your paperwork that shows you are the custodial parent and go. I was never questioned and I also am remarried with a different last name than my children. Unforunately not all non-custodial parents are nice people, some go out of their way for their children others look at them as a burden.

My husband is also a SOLE custody parent of his son. He didn't even bother with the ex since she hadn't spoke to her son since 1991! We cruised in '99, 2000, 2001 & 2002. We just took the kids and had a great time. Kathy
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by northernmouse
FredS, your ex can't even begin to link child support payments to this type of permission. I have the second wife, stepmother experience on the child support issue, and (as much as one might question where the money really goes sometimes -- which has nothing to do with your situation, it's my own bias speaking!) it is a moot point. The two are not related, or relatable, issues.

That said, because we've been on the receiving end of a mother taking a child out of the country without knowing her full intentions (which ultimately ended up in a situation where the child was put in danger) I do think you should tell the father about your plans. To be kept in the dark about the whereabouts of your children is very frustrating for a non-custodial parent. If you have an antagonistic relationship now, not telling him will not help improve it, and may create new issues. Or, depending the relationship your kids have, they may want to let him know, closer to departure time. (But that's just me sticking my nose in! )

You may want to ask him closer to the cruise, and position it more as something that is precautionary. There's really not a lot he can do to prevent you from going. (To prevent it would require a fair amount of expense on his part) If you have full custody of your kids, and your divorce decree states so, you can take it along and you should be fine.
Unfortunately while not legally relatable, trust me, this guy will definitely see extortion value in such a request. And, no, he will not be frustrated at not knowing where these great kids are. He typically makes no attempt at contact between his visitation days and he only exercises that on occasion because of pressure from his mother. I learned to live with the fact that he really has no desire to have a real relationship with the children. He is very jealous of our lives and he will not "be nice" about this. I also am sure that neither child would dream of telling him about the trip because they are pretty savvy already, and know it would make him mad.

I do have passports for both kids. I did not have to get his permission to get them, BTW, but this was in spring of 2001 so the requirements may have changed. I just plan to take the passports and birth certificates, as well as my divorce decree to pacify the officials at the cruise.

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