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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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If a mother has legal custody of a 13 year old child in South

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If a mother has legal custody of a 13 year old child in South Carolina, does the father have to sign his consent for that child to get a passport to travel to Europe.
Dear JACUSTOMER - Yes, the US Passport Office requires the signature of both parents to obtain a passport. This is to prevent children from being taken out of the country where they are beyond the jurisdiction of our courts for custody matters. The only way to get a passport if the other parent will not sign is to file a motion in the family law court and obtain a court order,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The passport website indicates if a mother has sole custody, only her signature is required. Is there a difference between sole and legal custody?

f the father has no legal rights such as visitation and is not involved in any way then it is possible to get a passport. The terms sole or legal custody can have different meanings but the issue is whether the father has any legal rights to the child such as visitation or shared custody. You certainly can apply for the passport and if the passport office will approve based on your custody order then you can get a passport. My experience with the Passport Office has been that they require both signatures if each parent has some legal right to the child. This is Federal, not state law so it doesn't matter what state your are in.
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