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In order for a minor to travel to another country without a parent, he or she must obtain permission to leave the foreign country. According to the State Department, a child under the age of 18 must carry a power of attorney if travelling without a mother or father. However, it is best to consult a family lawyer in such cases.
Permission to leave the country is regulated by Article 110 of Law 1098 of 2006 or the Law on Children and Adolescents.
What is a child's travel permit?
This is a legal permit which, as its name indicates, allows a minor under 18 years of age to leave Spain travelling with the permission of both parents or the person exercising parental authority. However, if the trip is domestic, in this case such a permit would not be necessary; only a copy of the family book would have to be presented.
Permits for children to travel outside Spain can be issued at any police office. To do this, you must complete a form that you can receive in person at the office or on the Internet. This process is completely free of charge and is valid for 30 days from the date of issue, so it is recommended that you do this at least one week before your flight.
The information that the permit must contain are:
- The child's first and last name.
- Details of both parents or those exercising parental authority (if the child is travelling with family friends or a relative other than the parent, a copy of the optional document is required).
- ID card or passport of both the minor and the parent or legal representative.
- Family record book.
- A copy of the return ticket.
Do I need permission from my ex-partner to travel with our child?
If you separate from your spouse, you should review the divorce decree and make sure that you are allowed to travel abroad with your minor children. The next step is to determine the child's permission for the child to travel with only one parent, because the signed letter is simply not enough and customs officials will not allow the child to travel.
On the other hand, you will always need your partner's permission to take your child out of the country. And if a parent unjustifiably objects to travel, you should consult a family lawyer to submit a formal letter to the court requesting an interim injunction as an alternative to the consent you do not have. It is not obligatory but advisable to include return tickets.
The other parent should be informed exactly where their child will be during the holiday, while at the same time providing a channel of communication where they can communicate with their child, preferably once a day.
Travelling with children without the permission and authorisation of the other parent can lead to the criminal offence of child abduction under Article 225.bis of the Penal Code, which carries a prison sentence of between two and four years, as well as deprivation of parental authority for between four and ten years.
On the other hand, when a parent loses parental authority, the other party can leave the country without the permission of the other parent who has lost parental authority, as can be seen in Article 110, paragraph 2 of Law 1098 of 2006.
The loss of parental rights entails the loss of the rights of the child, so the person affected by the loss cannot prevent the other parent from leaving his or her home country with the child.
In what other cases would you need to provide a Power of Attorney to take the children out of Spain?
- When the child is travelling with a relative other than the parents; the Power of Attorney must clearly state who will be responsible for the child during the journey and include documentation.
- When the child is travelling alone; in this case, a Power of Attorney is required and if the child does not have a Power of Attorney, the customs agent will probably not allow the child to fly.
If your child has a summer birthday, can your ex-partner come to see him/her?
All parents who do not have their child with them have the right to accompany them on this day. If they were born in the summer, this right can also be exercised, but by moving to where the other parent is on holiday.
What must be clear in all cases is that parents should make plans that are appropriate to the child's age and circumstances, taking into account the child's interests and not those of the parents.
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