Legal Question in Family Law in Washington

Short Term Custody for Grandparents

We will be taking our 6 month old granddaughter from Washington to Wisconsin for only one week while her parents travel across the United States to Maryland. Do we need to fill out any forms allowing us to fly with her as well as recieve any medical attention if needed? Would it also be a good idea to have my daughter get her a military ID Card?

Asked on 5/27/03, 9:06 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Mark Mahoney Cassiani Law Office, Wise Shepherd Law Office

Re: Short Term Custody for Grandparents


Unfortunately, I am not aware of what benefits a military ID card presents, nor who is eligible to get one. Generally, you can have custody of the child who can fly or travel with you because you have the parent's permission. With respect to medical care, you could have the parents write something up, but the child will get care if she needs it regardless. You could check with the pediatrician to see if he/she has any other suggestions. This is not a question I have seen before, and if you need more definitive advice, call a lawyer or two in your local area to see what they think. Best wishes.

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Answered on 5/28/03, 9:15 am

Jeffrey A. Lustick, Esq The Lustick Law Firm

Re: Short Term Custody for Grandparents

I recommend that both of your granddaughter’s parents sign a Power of Attorney (“POA”) granting you legal authority to obtain medical care for her. Hopefully you won’t need to use it, but if you do, having one in hand avoids “painful” delays and will convince any medical treatment provider that they can treat her without fear of being sued. While it’s true that they will ultimately treat her without a POA, for minor injuries they will make her wait until you can reach the natural parents for permission. Thus, a medical POA is essential, and you can set the POA to extend for a whole year to cover other periods when you may be watching her.

You mentioned a military ID card. If she’s a dependent of an active duty military person, she is covered by the TRICARE military health system. This is a portable insurance plan for military members and their families. The ID card acts as proof of this coverage. Here again, having this card will speed things up if she needs medical treatment. The ID is also a good idea since she’s going to be away from home. Military regulations usually don’t allow children under ten years old to have an ID, unless a special justification is made. And if the child’s parents are in the military, they can go to their installation legal assistance office to have the POA drawn up free of charge.

Finally, you’ll need to check with the airlines to see what documentation you’ll need to take her on an airplane. Federal regulations require some sort of ID upon check-in., but not for individuals under age 18. For children under age 2, a birth certificate is usually required. But again, please check with the specific airline. I hope all of this helps!

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Answered on 5/31/03, 12:51 pm

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