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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 118087
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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custody issues/questions

Customer Question

Hello, my name isXXXXX was wondering if someone could give me some advice about custody issues. I am almost 15 and wanting to travel to see my family in Central America. I have in the past many times, but recently my passport expired and my father is not cooperating with me getting a new one. I have not lived with him for quite a while and we never got along. I was wondering what is the best step to take to get his rights removed, since his is not a part of my life in any other way.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Who is your current legal guardian?

Who are you living with?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My parents have joint custody of me, but I am living with my mother and when they made the joint custody agreement I was only five.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your response.

If there is joint custody there is a problem here in your getting a passport. The US Passport Agency requires you to have both parents sign to obtain a passport. Unfortunately, if your father will not agree to this you cannot get the passport. (I am sure you were aware of this, but I really needed to make sure).

As far as your custody situation, in order to change the joint custody or to get your father's parental rights removed, your mom would have to go to court to file a motion to change/modify custody based on his lack of involvement in your life and get the court to change custody to sole custody. The alternative, if your father shows no parental interest and/or is not providing support, your mom would have to file a motion to terminate parental rights and prove he has abandoned you or neglected to care for you.

I am afraid both of these actions would require your mom to go to court and file motions with the court to change the custody situation. If your mom is not willing to do so, then I am afraid that as a minor there is legally nothing you can do at this point in time.

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