If you are divorced or in the middle of a divorce and wish to travel internationally with your child, it is important that you understand the numerous laws regarding passports for minor children. The U.S. Department of State has specific requirements for parents seeking to obtain a passport for their child. Our Oak Brook, Illinois divorce lawyers at Goodman Law Firm discuss what you need to know about getting a passport for your child during or after a divorce.
The United States Department of State has a specific list of Special Requirements for Children Under Age 16. The law states that all passport applicants under the age of 16 must apply in person for a passport. Along with the other standard required documents, you will need to submit documentation listing the parents or legal guardians of the child applying for the passport.
You will further need to show parental consent. Both parents or guardians must authorize the issuance of the child’s passport. Usually, both parents will go in person to apply. However, if you are in the middle of a divorce or currently divorced, this may not be a possibility. When both parents do not appear in person, you will need to show that you either have sole legal authority over the child or the other parent consents to the passport.
Proof of sole legal authority could include a copy of a court order granting you sole legal custody. In the alternative, you can submit a complete court order permitting you to apply for your child’s passport or a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate listing just you are the only parent.
If you share joint custody with your ex-spouse, you will need his or her consent. So long as your ex-spouse agrees, he or she can give permission for the passport by signing a Form DS-3053. The form must be signed and dated in the presence of a notary public. In the unique circumstance where one parent cannot be located, you may still be able to obtain a passport for your child if you can present sufficient evidence.
At times, the ex-spouse will refuse to provide consent for the child to get a passport. There may still be ways for you to obtain a passport for your child with the assistance of the court. Contact a divorce law attorney for assistance.
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