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Old 01-25-2014, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm aware that to get a US Passport for your child, you must have both parent's consent. DD's father has made no effort to contact/visit her since April. (We have a restraining order, but he's supposed to be still allowed visitation IF he brings it in front of the judge, which he was told at our last court date in April, but never did) How does a passport work when you have no idea where the other parents is and they've made no contact?


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Old 01-25-2014, 10:02 AM
 
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Do you have legal and physical custody? If so you don't need his permission to get a passport. If not I'd pursue changing it so you do, it won't change visitation but will give you freedom to get a passport.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:30 AM
 
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I have heard that you can sometimes get a waiver for his signature--the lack of contact + the restraining order may be enough reason, but I really don't know.  Maybe visit the courthouse or wherever you do the paperwork and see if they can help you.

 

I agree, though, that changing custody so you have sole legal is a good idea for the future if he is not going to be around anyway.  good luck!


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Old 01-28-2014, 02:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

Do you have legal and physical custody? If so you don't need his permission to get a passport. If not I'd pursue changing it so you do, it won't change visitation but will give you freedom to get a passport.

To be very clear, you may only get a passport for your child without the consent/participation of the other parent, if you have sole legal and physical custody - i.e., the other parent has NO parental rights.

 

It's a fine line:

 

- Mom could have sole custody - Dad could have "no parental rights" - even though he has visitation rights.  For example, grandparents might get orders for visitation, without having parental rights (like being able to seek medical care for the child, without parental consent).

 

On the other hand...

 

- Mom could have primary legal and physical custody (i.e., the child "lives" with Mom and "visits" Dad; and Mom has the final say in any decisions, when the parents can't agree), but Dad could still share "legal and physical custody":  

 

*** Even if Mom has more parenting time (thus, a larger share of custody), the court may look at Dad's parenting time as his/her portion of custody, not merely "visitation" like a grandparent might receive.

 

*** Mom might be able to effectively make unilateral decisions (if the parents never seem able to agree, then her preferences might win by default); yet the court may still expect her to at least inform Dad about and involve him in decisions... i.e., legal parental rights.  Such rights would still entitle him to veto his child being able to leave the country.

 

Be careful about how your custody orders are worded.  You don't want to accidentally represent to a federal agency that you have sole custody, if you only have primary custody (or whatever your local courts call it).

 

But the poster I quote is right:  If - technically - parents have joint legal custody, but the "non-residential" parent's failure to communicate blocks the "residential" parent from being able to parent (ex.:  Dad hasn't said no to a passport, but the child can't get one because he won't bother to say yes, either...), that would be a strong, practical argument for switching to sole legal custody.


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Old 01-30-2014, 08:36 AM
 
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Like VM said, you don't need permission if you have SOLE legal custody. That's what I have and simply brought my divorce decree when I got DS' passport. Easy peasy.

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Old 01-30-2014, 08:39 AM
 
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Also,both parents don't have to appear in person. Your EX could sign a form and have it notarized that he grants permission. Do you have an email address for him?

I know how hard it is to initiate contact though when the other parent disappears. I haven't heard from DS' bio dad in over 2 years.

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Old 01-30-2014, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have residential/physical custody; we share legal custody. I can't afford to get it changed at this point. Technically he still has the right to visitation every other weekend. However, when I got the restraining order, he was told by the judge that HE needed to initiate a court date so that the judge in KY (we did the restraining order in IN, but I now live in KY again) could decide first off if he should still have visitation rights and secondly to determine how those visitation rights would be exercised since there is a no contact order in place and we have no family to facilitate the exchange. Ex-H was told this in April, it's Feb now and he hasn't initiated the case yet.


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Old 01-30-2014, 07:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thatgirliknew View Post
 

I have residential/physical custody; we share legal custody. I can't afford to get it changed at this point. Technically he still has the right to visitation every other weekend. However, when I got the restraining order, he was told by the judge that HE needed to initiate a court date so that the judge in KY (we did the restraining order in IN, but I now live in KY again) could decide first off if he should still have visitation rights and secondly to determine how those visitation rights would be exercised since there is a no contact order in place and we have no family to facilitate the exchange. Ex-H was told this in April, it's Feb now and he hasn't initiated the case yet.

I have never been involved with family court in KY, only IN.  Here, I'd avise that if you're not currently represented by an atty, that you file a pro se petition - either for the court's permission to get a passport for your child since your ex won't respond about it; or to get sole legal custody because his failure to exercise his legal rights is impeding you from getting a passport (and more importantly, it could cause dire problems if your child needed a major medical procedure and you couldn't reach the father, for his consent).  You might qualify for a filing fee waiver, if your income is low enough.  You could request that, if you follow the proper procedures to serve notice to your ex (sending a copy of your pleading by certified mail to his last known address and taking out a classified ad in the newspaper of the last known city where he resided) - and he fails to file a response with the court in 30 days - that the judge issue a written ruling without a hearing.  You would then attach to your pleading a pre-written ruling with the result you would like, which the judge could sign if he saw fit.  Your circumstances are one of the exact scenarios where courts find it reasonable to assign sole legal custody to the primary custodian.

 

Oh, oh - allow me to clarify:  I am not an attorney, thus you are not getting sound legal advice from an attorney.  I am a parent who has handled family law matters for myself without an attorney and I'm married to a man who has done the same, for himself.  My advice is based on our personal experiences, nothing more.


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Old 01-30-2014, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will definitely look into what you have suggested! Thank you very much!


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Old 02-05-2014, 03:11 PM
 
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I'm new here but I have a question about this as well. If I wasn't married to my son's father and he isn't on the birth certificate and has never seen the child, doesn't that automatically give me sole custody? Would I be able to get my son a passport without his consent?
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KLarkin View Post

I'm new here but I have a question about this as well. If I wasn't married to my son's father and he isn't on the birth certificate and has never seen the child, doesn't that automatically give me sole custody? Would I be able to get my son a passport without his consent?

I'm pretty sure that yes, since you are the only one on the bc, you are the only legal parent and have sole custody so you don't need his consent. 


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Old 02-05-2014, 08:36 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure that yes, since you are the only one on the bc, you are the only legal parent and have sole custody so you don't need his consent. 

I, too, am nearly certain this is true.  He would have to file a paternity suit, to establish parental rights.


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