Can my ex-husband sign a power of attorney, making me the decision maker regarding our son's travel outside the US? 8 Answers as of February 18, 2014

My ex-husband moved back to Russia 4 years ago. We have a son together and joint custody. Can he sign a power of attorney, making me the decision maker regarding our son's travel outside the US or do I need to go to court and have our custody plan modified? I do not want to strip him of his parental rights in case he decides to come back to the US.

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Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC
Law Office of Annette M. Cox, PLLC | Annette M. Cox
If he'll sign a power of attorney, I would simply have him sign a stipulation to modify the decision-making order. You can spell out exactly what authority you have and what has changed. It is not the same thing as taking away his parental rights. You should consult an attorney if you need more help.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
Replied: 2/18/2014
GordenLaw, LLC
GordenLaw, LLC | Vanessa J. Gorden
If this provision is not part of your custody order, you will want to modify it. You can temporarily modify between the two of you, but if you want something enforceable that prevents your ex from showing up and taking your child to Russia, you will need to change the parenting plan/custody provisions. You should at least consult with a family law attorney and have your current documents reviewed to know your options.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 2/18/2014
Heidi Lauer
Heidi Lauer | Heidi Lauer
You do not necessarily need to go to Court if you both agree. Perhaps you can just enter a Stipulation and Order indicating that both parents agree to permit you full legal custody for so long as dad is living outside of the United States. This document would need to be filed with the Court, but neither of you would need to appear. In California, custody - including legal custody - is modifiable until the child is 18, so you can change things as necessary during that time and certainly this seems like one of those times.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/18/2014
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
that? sound like a legally viable option
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 2/18/2014
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
Why do you need it? You are the custodian of your son and have the right to make legal decisions for him, right? Or is this just a Department of State issue regarding the issuance of a passport? If he has a passport, I don't understand why you would need the POA.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 2/18/2014
    Provda Law Firm
    Provda Law Firm | Bruce Provda
    This sounds like a reasonable course of action. You should consult a custody attorney to draw up this paperwork so that it is valid and yet doesn't violate your husband's parental rights.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/18/2014
    John Russo | John Russo
    This is way over both your heads, the Hague governs these types of issues for children traveling outside their home nation, I am not sure if the Russians have signed on to the Hague or not so that's your homework assignment, but in any event when a child is being taken outside the borders of this country the parent who is not the traveling parent must agree and sign formal documents each time, the smart parent will also seek a court order that states that while the child is outside our borders the parent here is given sole custody and placement of the child until their safe return, the reason being that if the child is not returned then the Hague kicks in and the parent here files international kidnapping charges, if the original order was joint custody placement with non-traveling parent it would be much harder to get other countries on board because of the joint clause so that is why we have the order to modify to sole before travel starts, with the order also stating that once the child is returned per the travel agreement the order shall be reversed back to the prior order of the court.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 2/18/2014
    Kunin &Carman | Ishi Kunin
    The safest route is to have you and your ex sign a Stipulation and Order that is filed with the court that sets forth your rights. The Stipulation can say that you have sole authority to authorize your son's travel out of country, or it can be broader. A P of A from an ex might be questioned, especially if it contradicts a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 2/18/2014
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