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Passports for Children When Parties are Separated

When a separated parent wants to obtain a passport for their child(ren), the usual first step is to request the other parent’s consent.  For children under 16, if the other parent consents, then both parents and the child should attend the passport appointment in person.  If only one parent is able to attend with the child, then the other parent needs to provide a Form 3053 “Statement of Consent” (from the US State Department), which they have signed and dated in front of a notary (or, in certain foreign countries, at a US embassy or consulate).

If the other parent does not consent, a custody order may be necessary.  If the parent applying for a passport for their child has sole legal custody, they may be able to apply for the passport without the other parent’s consent.  If they do not have sole legal custody, and the other parent objects, then they will need to seek the Court’s intervention to either be granted sole legal custody or to have the Court specify in an Order that they may apply for a passport for the child without the other parent’s consent.

If the other parent is unable to be located, then the parent applying for the passport must fill out Form DS-5525 “Statement of Exigent/Special Family Circumstances” with as much detail as possible and provide evidence (such as a custody order, proof that the other party has been incarcerated or deported, etc.).

If the other parent is incompetent to consent to a passport application, then a judicial declaration of incompetence will be needed.

If you are interested in learning more about applying for a passport for a child when the parents of the child are separated, contact Tanner Law Offices at (717) 731-8114 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.