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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9908
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My mom has planned a trip out of the country and we want to

Customer Question

My mom has planned a trip out of the country and we want to bring my 7 year old daughter.
I was an unwed mother in SC at time of my daughters birth but moved to NC .
Her father is listed on the BC but has never established paternity.
He was going to allow her to come and sign the absentee parents form so we could get her passport but is now refusing to do so.
Is there a way to go around him and somehow get the passport or take care on the cruise with just her birth certificate?
If we move back to SC am I automatically back to having full legal and physical custody?
Thanks so much
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 months ago.

Unfortunately, even though birth fathers have no legal rights unless there is a court order, the state department has not followed this and requires the signature of both parents if they are both listed on the birth certificate.

There is a form that does allow a parent to request issuance of a passport without the other parent’s consent. That form is here:

There is no guarantee the state will issue the passport based on that document as it depends on the individual agent reviewing the form.

Alternatively, one may petition the court for either sole legal custody, or for authorization to apply for a passport without the other parent’s consent. The court will typically grant that relief when the other parent is an absentee parent.

The problem is that typically it takes 4-8 weeks (depending on the local court calendar) to get a court hearing. One can request an emergency hearing but most judges will only grant that if the child is at risk of physical/emotional harm.

If there are no current orders re: custody, then the proper court is the court where the child has resided the past 6 months (per the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act). You may want to write the other parent a letter, with a copy of the consent statement, requesting that they complete the form and return it by __ date, or one will have no choice but to file with the court for permission to apply for a passport without their consent, and that the motion will include a request for attorney fees and court costs (which the court may award if they deem the other party’s refusal to sign as unreasonable -ie no legitimate basis for the refusal)

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.

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