Can I obtain passports for my 15 and 17-year-old children without their father's consent?
Question: We have 50/50 parenting time. He has medical, dental and vision decision making. I have all other decision making. My 3 children's passports expire in August. In order to obtain them, I had to hire an attorney and go through a very expensive legal battle ($60,000) in order to get their father's signed consent form. Even after he was ordered to sign, I had additional expense and had to battle him for another 6 months to actually obtain his signature. The process took over 2 years.
Now that it is time to renew, I'm trying to figure out if there is any way to avoid that time and expense again. Two of the children are 15 and one is 17. Our court order states, "Petitioner (me) is hereby designated custodian of the children solely for the purposes of all federal and state statutes which require a designation or determination of custody."
Is there any chance this will suffice so I don't have to get his consent? If so, will I need to provide a complete copy of the entire court order, or just this part? Will the copy have to be certified by the court? Are the rules different for my 17-year-old than they are for my 15-year-old children? If I obtain the passports, will the children still need his consent to travel out of the country?Answer:
The 17-year-old is fine. No consent is needed. For the 15-year-old children, you need to submit the father's consent unless you have sole legal custody with a full court order signed by the judge with a raised seal. This must be the original document or a certified, embossed copy. Note, at age 16, only one parent is required to appear with the minor.
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