If you wish to get a passport for your child during a custody dispute, two factors will determine the success of your request:
- The age of the child, AND
- Whether or not there are any court orders in effect that might restrict the issuance of a passport.
If no court orders are in effect concerning the issuance of the minor’s passport, the following rules apply:
- Both parents must sign if the minor is under the age of 16 and appear in person with the minor at an authorized passport issuance location and sign a Form DS-11 in front of an Acceptance Agent, AND
- One parent must sign and appear in person with the minor, sign Form DS-11 in front of an Acceptance Agent and submit the second parents’ notarized Statement of Consent (Form DS-3053). Any written consent from a non-applying parent that accompanies an application for a passport must be less than three months old.
Getting a Passport for Your Child During a Custody Dispute if Parent has Sole Legal Custody
One parent with sole legal custody MUST appear in person with the minor, sign Form DS-11 in front of an Acceptance Agent, and submit primary evidence of sole authority to apply for the child’s passport with one of the following:
- Minor’s certified U.S. or foreign birth certificate listing only the applying parent; OR
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) or Certification of Birth Abroad (Form DS-1350) listing only the applying parent; OR
- Court order granting sole custody to the applying parent (unless child’s travel is restricted by that order); OR
- Adoption decree (if applying parent is sole adopting parent); OR
- Court order specifically permitting applying parent’s or guardian’s travel with the child; OR
- Judicial declaration of incompetence of non-applying parent; OR
- Death certificate of non-applying parent.
What if I Do Not Have the Documentation?
If none of the above documentation is available, the applying parent must submit Form DS-5525 (Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances) stating why the non-applying parent/guardian’s consent cannot be obtained. The statement must explain in detail the non-applying parent’s or guardian’s unavailability and recent efforts made to contact the non-applying parent. The applying parent also may be required to provide evidence (e.g., custody order, incarceration order, restraining order) to document his/her claim of exigent or special circumstances.
Can Someone Other than the Parents Apply for a Child’s Passport?
A third party (In Loco Parent is applying on behalf of a minor under the age of 16) must:
- Submit a notarized written statement or affidavit from both parents/guardians authorizing the third party to apply for the minor’s passport, OR
- When the statement of affidavit is from only one parent/guardian, the third party must present evidence of sole custody of the authorizing parent/guardian.
What if my Child is a Minor but has Reached the Age of 16?
Minors who are 16 years and older may sign their own passport application if they appear accompanied by one parent with proper identification.
Speak to Wallin & Klarich Today
For over 30 years, the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been helping families facing child custody and child abandonment disputes in Southern California apply for their children’s passports. Please speak to our experienced family attorneys today so that we can provide you with the immediate assistance you need. Our offices are located near you in Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, West Covina, Victorville and San Diego.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will get through this together.