Obtaining Children’s Passports for Separated Parents

passport, travel, canadianGiven March Break is here and many people are planning getaways to warmer locations, it seemed opportune to highlight some of the difficulties that separated parents may have in obtaining passports for their children.

The Canadian Passport Order outlines when parents with children under 16 years old can apply for passports on behalf of their children.  Specifically, when parents are separated, the passport may only be issued to the custodial parent.  If the parents have joint custody, they must cooperate in obtaining the passport for their child.   Generally, the signatures of both parents must be provided on the passport application.

Trouble can occur when there is little cooperation between joint custodial parents or when, for any number of reasons, one parent cannot be located in time to obtain his or her consent for the passport prior to travel.  Making the issue more complicated is the Passport Canada requirement that if the non-custodial parent has a specific right of access, he or she must also sign the child’s passport application.  Passport Canada requires that you provide all Court orders, agreements or other documents relating to custody and access of a child.  Click here to be taken to Passport Canada’s website dealing with Passports for children.

Each situation is very specific on the terms of any agreement or order.  If you encounter difficulties in obtaining a passport for your child, our lawyers are able to assist you and can deal with these matters on short notice if necessary.  Please do not hesitate to contact one of our family law lawyers should you need assistance on this or any other family law issue.