Summer travel overseas with children is a fun way to create lasting memories. However, if you are an unmarried parent you may run into roadblocks if you need assistance from an uncooperative custodial parent in order to get the child’s passport.
If you have tried to communicate with the other parent and your efforts have failed, you do have some remedies through the court (assuming you have not been banned from getting passport due to certain issues). The remedies depend on whether you already have a court order that outlines the process for you getting your child’s passport from the other parent and if you do not have an order already in place.
The Two-Parent Consent Requirement
According to the Department of State, “All children under age 16 must apply for a passport in person with two parents or guardians using Form DS-11.” This can become the first hurdle when applying for a passport for your child if you are the non-custodial parent and the custodial parent is uncooperative. However, with consent of both parents, the process is easy.
If You Have A Court Order
If you already of a court order in place that gives you the right to request your child’s passport from the custodial parent make sure that you have read and followed all the instructions in your order. You also want to make sure that you have documented that you followed the instructions and gave the proper notice.
If you have done everything correctly and the custodial parent will not comply with your request, you can hire an attorney to file an enforcement action on your behalf.
If you are successful on your enforcement action not only will you get the child’s passport, there is a high likely hood that the custodial parent will be ordered to reimburse you for your attorney’s fees.
If You Do Not Have A Court Order
If you do not have a court order in place you should consider hiring a lawyer to get a court order. This will give you the legal right to file an enforcement if in the future the custodial parent refuses to give you your child’s passport.
Do not miss a great opportunity to make great memories with your child during summer vacations because of an uncooperative custodial parent. It is very time consuming to go to court and it costs money. But, in the long run it is worth every smile you get to experience on your child’s face.