Generally, obtaining a passport for a minor child requires the consent of both parents. However, this situation can become complex if you are divorced.
If you suspect your ex-spouse is trying to get a passport for your child without your permission, there are steps you can take to address the issue.
Managing conservatorships and passports
If you and your ex-spouse have a joint managing conservatorship and share legal custody of your child, then you have the right as a parent to participate in crucial discussions and decisions that impact your child’s upbringing. Because a passport allows your child to leave the country and travel abroad, your ex-spouse cannot choose to get one without your consent. Importantly, you do not need to live with your child to be their legal parent. However, if your ex-spouse has sole managing conservatorship, they can acquire a passport for your child without your knowledge or permission.
Guarding your parental rights
It is crucial to speak with your ex-spouse before initiating legal actions, as there can be miscommunication between divorced parents. However, if you believe there is a risk to your child’s safety or do not trust your former spouse, consulting an attorney to explore your options might be appropriate. For instance, you could obtain a court order to prevent your ex-spouse from getting a passport for your child. You can also enroll in the Child Passport Issuance Alert Program to stay informed if your spouse tries to obtain a passport for your child without informing you or obtaining your permission.
In most cases, both parents must give their consent when a child acquires a passport.