Taking the Kids on Vacation? Don't Forget the Travel Consent Forms
R&B superstar Usher Raymond pours his heart and soul into his music, but according to his ex-wife, Tameka Raymond, he doesn't put nearly as much effort into raising his children.
The Raymonds were only married for two years, but they managed to conceive two children during that time. They agreed to joint and shared custody after they were divorced. According to TMZ.com, Ms. Raymond has filed court documents seeking an order that Mr. Raymond's custody rights be removed.
Ms. Raymond claims that Usher has failed to abide by several aspects of their agreement. At the top of the list of indiscretions is Mr. Raymond's alleged failure to obtain his ex-wife's permission to travel outside their home state (Georgia) with the children. Tameka has also said that Usher has failed to: get her approval before hiring nannies; give her the right of first refusal to watch the children when he is unavailable during his scheduled parenting time; allow her to take the kids for a 2-week vacation in the summer of 2011; and allow her to have access time with the children during the 2010 Christmas break.
There are other issues at hand for Usher to deal with, such as child support arrears and the quantum of child support, but for now I want to focus on Travel Consent Forms.
Tameka claims that Usher has, on multiple occasions, taken the children on vacation across state lines without her permission. I am not sure what type of agreement the Raymonds have in place, however, if they were residents of Ontario, they would likely have executed a Separation Agreement that deals with, among other things, the procedure for travel with their children.
Most Separation Agreements entered into in Ontario contain a blank Travel Consent Form as a schedule. This form is very important and more necessary than most people realize. Border Services Canada even advises that parents who share custody of their children and are traveling should carry with them copies of legal custody documents and it is recommended that they also have an executed travel consent form. These items are generally presented to the border officer before driving into the United States, or flying internationally.
When mandated by a Separation Agreement, the travel consent form should include all of the following information: the date, time, and place of departure; the date, time, and place of arrival; the mode of transit, including the flight and aircraft number where applicable; contact telephone numbers for the traveling parent that are accessible during the entire vacation; the address of where the children and the travelling parent will be staying; and the address and contact information for the parent executing the form and providing his or her consent to travel.
So, even if your name is "Usher," you still need the proper travel documents to travel with your children out of the country if you're separated.