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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11364
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I researched the form you indicated and asked about it; this

Customer Question

I researched the form you indicated and asked about it; this is the answer I received
SAPCRs are generally reserved for when the parents no longer live together or are no longer married. It would be unusual to file one while still remaining married to your wife and living with her. If you're still married, a Judge will not likely want to interfere in your marriage.
Submitted: 21 days ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 21 days ago.

My apologies, I thought I was clear that it's typically part of divorce processes but doesn't have to be, but I realize that I meant to say that it's also used in separation situations. An SAPCR governs custody/visitation when parents do not currently live together any more or are going to separate. It is possible that in certain situations they can be filed if you're still living together, but there'd have to be a compelling reason to give one or the other custody rights. I'm sorry I didn't make that more clear. It was really a tangential answer, sort of a "well you could do it this way", in that it's the really the only way to ensure that you can seek to have vacation outside of the country without her consent and not have any problems. My apologies if I made it seem like an actual possibility if you're living together, not even thinking about separating or divorcing, and will continue to live together.

Customer: replied 21 days ago.
I had made it clear that we were not divorced nor in divorce proceedings so your suggestion and referral to the form and process was blatantly unapplicable and incorrect. I even specifically asked you if it could be used without filing for divorce...
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 21 days ago.

Here's what I said, verbatim:

"What I said is that you can travel abroad without permission, so long as there's not a court order in place governing child custody / visitation. I'm saying though that there's the possibility that she could obtain an order that could stop you, and there's a possibility that you might run into issues without a letter of consent allowing that travel (depending on the airport / country that you enter). I'm not saying that you can't do that. I never said that you can't do it. All I said was that you can,subject to the passport, court order, and potential letter of consent issues.

The only real way around all those "subject to" conditions is a court order that gives you the right to travel with or without her consent, and that's generally only issued as part of a custodial order that gives you custody rights. It's a lawsuit known as a Suit Affecting the Parent Child Relationship (SAPCR) that would be needed to get that court order that gives you the right to do so."

It CAN be used without filing for divorce. It's not only for divorces. Separations can apply too. You only stated:

there are no ongoing court proceedings of any sort we are marriedno divorce filedno pending court ordersno history of any matters

Custody is when two parties are living apart. Again, I'm sorry that I wasn't more clear. You stated that you're married and not divorced, but didn't say that you're living together and not contemplating divorce or separation. You never stated that you were still living together, and the indication is that you were having a disagreement, where you'd be traveling without your wife. So at best it was a misunderstanding, but nothing was explicitly stated that you were still living together... only that you were still married and not divorced and no court proceedings at the time.

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 21 days ago.

Notice that I was saying "the only way around all those "subject to" conditions..." was the SAPCR. I wasn't trying to indicate that this is a strong case. My point was that you can travel with your daughter abroad without permission from your wife, but there are potential issues that could come up. The only way to avoid those issues is if you had custodial rights and the right granted by a court to travel with your daughter. I was trying to give you the most complete answer, as it's clearly incorrect to say that you can travel abroad with your daughter without consent, and no problems will arise or that your wife can't object. Does that make sense what I was trying to accomplish in my previous answer to you?