Taking child out of country

If a child is accompanied by only one parent, a notarized consent to the child’s going abroad from the other parent must be presented to border authorities at the exit point.  

It is required by law that a statement of consent to the child’s going abroad must be granted by a parent who is not accompanying the child, and be certified by a notary.

If a parent is unwilling to grant his/her consent to the child’s going abroad, such consent may be issued by the court.

According to a general rule, an action is filed at a court at the defendant’s place of residence. But if a parent lives, for example, in another city, an action can be filed in the city where the other parent lives with the child.

One should keep in mind that a procedure of court hearing may take quite a long time. In addition, if a party is not satisfied with the court judgment, appeals may be lodged which takes still longer. Taking into consideration that the court requires to state defiantly the period when a child is going to be taken abroad one may be well delayed waiting for a positive court decision.

When such cases are heard by the court, the following is considered:

  • when a trip abroad will be made, during the study period or holidays;
  • if visas are available or must be obtained;
  • purpose of the trip, for medical treatment, rest or recreation;
  • the financial ability of the accompanying parent to cover all child’s costs during the trips;
  • if the other parent’s right to communicate with the child are not limited or affected.  

The evidence is taking into consideration:

  • a contract for tourist services, confirming the aim to visit certain countries or places;
  • vacation package;
  • written recommendations from doctors to the child to undergo medical treatment or health improvement course;
  • information from schools;
  • information from the parents’ employers, etc. 

The most common cases when the court refuses the claim and does not grant permission to take a child abroad:

  • the court is not provided with sufficient evidence proving the circumstances the claimant refers to;
  • the aim of the child’s going abroad is not substantiated;
  • there is no evidence that the defendant refuses groundless to let the child go abroad and/or that child’s travelling documents be issued;
  • a definite period and a target country for the child travelling abroad are failed to be mentioned in the claim, etc. 

Thus, in order to have a positive court decision on a child’s going abroad without the other parent’s permission one has to produce sufficient evidences that the other parent’s refusal to grant such a permission is unreasonable/groundless, that such traveling abroad is entirely beneficial for the child, as well as to mention a period and countries of the planned trip abroad. 

A notarized statement of consent giving the right to the child’s going abroad is not needed if:

  • the other parent is a foreign national or has no citizenship. This fact must be confirmed by the child’s birth certificate;
  • there is the note in the child’s travelling document that he/she is going abroad for permanent residence;
  • the accompanying parent is registered with a diplomatic representative office of Ukraine abroad;
  • there are original documents or their notarized copies confirming the death of the other parent;
  • there are original or duplicate court judgments confirming that:
  • the other parent’s parental rights over the child have been terminated;
  • the other parent has been announced/listed missing;
  • a permission has been granted to the minor’s going abroad without the other parent’s consent or accompanying. 

A procedure of getting a permission in court to the minor’s going abroad is as follows:

  1. Lodging of a claim to a court.
  2. Providing the court with evidence of the other parent’s evading giving consent to the child’s going abroad. 

PAY ATTENTION: A claim is advised to be lodged not less than 1 year before the planned date of leaving abroad. Such a long procedure of hearing of such cases is explained by peculiarities of our judicial system, possible misuse of the procedural norms by the defendant, the latter’s further appeals and cassations to higher courts