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 Post subject: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:36 am 
Seagull of the PPK
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*I will be having an official document drawn up by a US lawyer, don't worry, that's not the question*

US people, daily life question: I will be living in the US for a year while my husband stays here.
I wonder if I need to have a power of attorney for daily stuff- like enrolling the kid in school or something? Here my signature is needed on *anything my husband signs*- this is not common in the US though, right? The only thing with his name on it is a joint bank account {which we will not close, and if I need his sig i could always send to him}.

[We are not divorced or on the road to divorce, and I am not selling/buying anything in his name].
In order to take the kid out of the country I will have an official, bilingual (in Brazil) legal document in which he grants me the right to travel with and make decisions for the kid for a year.

Is there any situation where you have to have your spouse's signature on stuff that you do, in normal daily life?

To do a power of attorney that is valid in the US is possible, but a real pain in the asparagus so I'm trying to evaluate if it's really needed
Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:43 am 
Semen Strong
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Are you doing anything in his name? I would call the school district and doublecheck re registration.

Plus I believe that PoA documents prepared in Brazil have to be notarized and apostilled to be used here. Again, though, its a pretty specific area, so maybe npittman has some experience, but I'd definitely ask someone familiar with these issues just to be sure.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:48 am 
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I haven't had anything come up, but Wilson and I don't have kids and he didn't really exist in the US. Are you concerned about school stuff? I can't even think of anything you'd need it for. Health care stuff?

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:59 am 
Semen Strong
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You would need it for joint property (opening a joint bank account, selling any communal property etc). I would check the school district, because it would be silly to get up there and find that you can't enroll her, and its an easy phone call.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:19 am 
Seagull of the PPK
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i will do just that, i would assume her right to a public education would trump any paperwork hurdles but who knows [and assumptions like that are why i'm not a lawyer....] I emailed them but haven't gotten a response- will call on Monday.

it really is just school or maybe health care stuff. We have nothing joint in the US except for that account which is already open.

the only person i know who has any familiarity with this stuff lives in CA and CA law says the thing doesn't need to be notarized, just witnessed. the impediment is the notarization [i can get a US notary, but NJ law says it needs to be stamped by a NJ notary. The US notary is consular staff, from who-knows-where. the notarization requires a 12-hour drive and several hundred US$.]

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:36 am 
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If you need help on the NJ end, let me know! I wouldn't assume anything about registration - it is also useful to know which immunization records etc they will need for her.

For health care, you should be fine, because they just need one parent to consent. But again, make sure you have birth certificates etc.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 10:53 am 
Seagull of the PPK
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oh yes, we will be making many many many many copies of everything.
immunizations at least will be easy- we haven't done any since we left the US so it's our old [illegible] US record.
soooo many copies. thanks T!

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 4:57 pm 
***LIES!!!***
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Any lawyer admitted to the bar in NJ can notarize things. There are a bajillionty nj peops on the ppk, some of us lawyers or married to lawyers.


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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 5:21 pm 
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I believe her issue is that her husband will be in Brazil, so would need to sign the document and have it notarized by a NJ notary in Brazil. You can't notarize something after its been signed - the notary has to attest that On X Date Appeared Before Me: __________ and ____________ and the notary is also attesting to having checked identity.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:20 pm 
Seagull of the PPK
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You nailed it, Tlish. And our notaries here will not stamp anything that is not in Portuguese, even if their stamp was recognized by the state of NJ, so local doesn't work.
We shall see. I made the appointment at the consulate, just in case, and if it turns out on Monday that the district doesn't need it i will probably cancel the appointment and take my chances. If need be, I've taught Mr T how to operate the document scanner and he could always sign and return anything important.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 8:35 pm 
***LIES!!!***
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Ah yes, that is a problem indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 8:41 pm 
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torque wrote:
You nailed it, Tlish. And our notaries here will not stamp anything that is not in Portuguese, even if their stamp was recognized by the state of NJ, so local doesn't work.
We shall see. I made the appointment at the consulate, just in case, and if it turns out on Monday that the district doesn't need it i will probably cancel the appointment and take my chances. If need be, I've taught Mr T how to operate the document scanner and he could always sign and return anything important.


If Mr T is anything like Wilson, that's quite an accomplishment! Wilson had to print and sign something and nearly gave me a fit. Well, first he was supposed to fill in the PDF form, but he made me do it instead. I think he's just stubborn.

Good luck with everything. I wish I could help!

ETA: If you think of something or need anything, please let me know!

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 7:12 am 
Seagull of the PPK
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Thank you all so much, #1, and #2, ndp you called it! he is getting better [operating scanner!] but i know the first time the internet service goes down it will probably stay down til the day i come back.
[ironically, this is a person who specializes in electronic systems and spends his day working with relays and automotive code scanners, so i don't get it. i'm sure in his perception i'm just as bad if not worse.]

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 10:49 pm 
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I don't know anything about the overseas issues, but as a spouse of a deployed, generally unreachable sailor I do a lot with POAs!!

First, it definitely needs to be notarized. Whoever said just witnessed was wrong. I bet there are translation services that can give you a certified translation, so maybe that will work. I find a general power attorney handy to have for various things like accessing financial accounts in my husband's name, dealing with utilities that were set up in his name only (this probably won't be an issue for you).. In addition there are plenty of instances that require a SPECIFIC power of attorney, so if you think you might be acquiring real estate, signing or breaking leases, buying a car, or you know of any other specific things you want to do consult a lawyer for that. Even though a general power of attorney appears to cover these things, in my and others' experience, no one cares, you need the specific one.

One thing that a POA isn't good enough for is to get a child a passport, I've discovered.. In that instance you need another form notarized. If a passport expiring will be an issue for FC make sure to get that filled out, signed, and notarized before you go. (If you can't get that form signed, you have to have another notarized form documenting your attempts to reach the child's other parent)

Now to play a little devil's advocate: a POA is a very powerful document. You can execute major financial transactions on someone's behalf. In theory you have to act in their interests, but personally it always makes me nervous that the Navy advises sailors to hand them out to their wives like candy because you can screw up somebody's life pretty badly with some ill will and a POA. I've seen people completely wipe out bank accounts and run off with other people while their husbands are deployed. It sucks, it happens, it's hard to pick up the pieces afterwards. So be careful! If you do not have a good relationship with your spouse, I would advise for both of your sakes that you consider setting things up in a way that doesn't require each other's names on things, and use limited, specific powers of attorney where necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 12:16 am 
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annak is very wise.

I think it is so interesting that in Japan, after a divorce, the non-custodial parent often has no more contact with the child. I think you've mentioned that Mr. T is of Japanese extraction, and was wondering if that piece might play into some of his stress around you leaving or contemplating divorce.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... oblem.html

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 4:28 am 
Seagull of the PPK
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that's a smart observation- true. his family [which is all japanese] seems to embody the worst case scenario of all things stereotypically japanese in terms of confucius-inspired denial of women's humanity/rights, xenophobia, disturbing tales of waaaay-beyond-the-limit-family duty, etc. Probably closer to the truth is the fear that after we go home we won't come back- international marriages with kids tend to have more risk. If I had a nickel for everyone I've told that we're going back for a year who's responded "You know, you'll never come back" I'd pay for my ticket. It was super common for marriages in Japan for people to disappear, with or without the kids. And of course here after Sean Goldman, that's a whole nother can of worms. I could go on at length but I think especially for the Brazilian community in Japan marriage was sort of a game, and lots of people skipped out on it [the fact that the Brazilian govt didn't recognize marriages in Japan facilitated this].

on the other hand, divorce [and lawsuits, actually] are significantly less common than in the US, for example, maybe because the corps of attorneys is significantly smaller and cases take years and years to come to trial.

thanks annak, that is indeed very smart. one of the key things about this arrangement was that i would give him POA and he'd give me one too. Of course his wouldn't be valid where the money is, and I would take the kid. Not as a "you better not screw me" arrangement but instead as a quiet reminder. I still have the appointment at the consulate and I think I may do it anyway. From what you said I really don't think I'll need it for anything but juuuuust in case.

Passports have both just been renewed so we definitely have time. That is a good one to know, though, I hadn't thought of what a headache that might be.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 5:38 am 
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torque: I'm so impressed by how much care and thought you're putting into this. On the one hand, I guess you have to. At the same time, it's still awesome to hear that you're trying to make this experience as 'right' as possible for you and your family. Big hugs, lady. Big, big, big ones.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 12:31 pm 
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lutin, big hugs to you too lady. I was thinking of you reading the thread about your gram and one of the other motivators behind this is that my grandparents are both at death's door and i feel, especially, a need to be able to hug my gram and talk to her before she goes. I hope you're hanging in there.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 6:50 am 
Seagull of the PPK
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Just spoke to the district and they don't need anything notarized or a power of attorney. Which is a huge relief.
They do need 4 forms of proof of residence, though, which will be interesting. (4!)
I have bank statements, and that's about it. I'll figure that out when I get there, I suppose.

Starting to get really, really scared now. So much paperwork, so much potential for disaster.

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 Post subject: Re: power of attorney for married people living apart
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 7:04 am 
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You can do it, torque!

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