Obtaining a Passport Without Consent
Both parents are required to sign an application for a child’s passport to issue, unless one parent has sole parental responsibility. A recent case considered an application to dispense with a parent’s consent to obtain a passport.
- The 15 year old child wished to travel overseas on a school trip, which required the child to obtain a passport. The mother had requested the father sign an application for a passport, the request had gone unanswered. The mother filed a court application seeking to dispense with the father’s signature to obtain the passport.
- The father filed no response document but did attend court on the court date seeking an adjournment of the matter and requesting that testing be conducted for an alleged condition suffered by the child. The mother opposed both of these requests.
- The father had had no contact with the child for 3 years prior to the application. He indicated to the court that he would consider signing an application for the passport if he was able to accompany the child on the school trip.
- The father’s demand to accompany the child on the trip when he had not spent any meaningful time with the child for the previous 3 years was not in the child’s best interest.
- The father had been aware for some time of the mother’s request for a passport. The court found that the proceedings could have been avoided if the father had responded to the mother’s request for a passport.
- The need to obtain the father’s consent for a passport be dispensed with.
- The father pay the mother’s costs of the application.