Parent refuses to sign a passport application
How To Get A Child Passport After Divorce
In order to issue a child passport after divorce, there needs to be written consent from both parents of the child.
Both parents need to sign a child’s passport application form.
In most cases, this is usually the natural parents of the child as stated on the child’s Birth Certificate.
If written consent is provided by each of the parties with parental responsibility, applications can be lodged at an Australian Post Office or any Australian Passport Office.
Even if the parties are divorced, you can still get a passport for your child this way through both signing and lodging as per usual.
The divorce doesn’t change the fact that both signatures are required, even in the case of one parent having an order for sole parental responsibility.
‘Sole parental responsibility’ grants power for ‘long-term decisions for the child’ but does not remove the other parent’s parental responsibility.
The reason the law needs each party with parental responsibility to give written consent is to prevent the abduction of children of divorced households.
This is why it came be slightly tricky in order to have the passport office issue a child passport after divorce.
So what can you do if the other parent refuses to sign a passport application?
When a parent refuses to sign a passport application and give written consent for the passport application, you can still try to get the passport for your child.
Your options for when a parent refuses to sign a passport application
Make a written request to the Approved Senior Officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to consider approving the child’s passport due to ‘special circumstances’
When making your request you should include:
- A copy of the letter sent to the other parent requesting their written consent for the child’s passport application
- A certified copy of the child’s Birth Certificate
- A copy of the travel itinerary and plane tickets if you have already booked travel
- A certified copy of the final Court-made parenting order
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will then make a determination as to whether they will grant the passport based on exceptional circumstances.
If the Australian Passports Office do not approve the ‘special circumstances’ request, you can apply to the Court for an order granting permission for the child to obtain a passport
- Most cases will require you to attempt mediation before making an application to the Court.
- If mediation is unsuccessful, you can file an Initiating Application.
- You will need to include an Affidavit in support of the Application, including all the relevant facts that will help your case
- Ensure you also file an Affidavit of Service to prove to the Court that the other parent was served with the documents
In your Initiating Application, you will need to ask the court for an order permitted one parent to apply for and be issued with a passport for the child.
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Principal of Justice Family Lawyers, Hayder specialises in complex parenting and property family law matters. He is based in Sydney and holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Communications from UTS.