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Can a Parent Refuse to Sign Passport?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Blue Grass, 28 August 2016.

  1. Blue Grass

    Blue Grass Well-Known Member

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    Can any one answer a question please?

    Orders are in place that simply say a parent going overseas with the children must give the other parent X weeks notice and then an itinerary X days prior to departure. Can one parent refuse to sign the passport forms despite family court orders, when the other parent refuses to answer relevant questions like how will the other parent get access to the passports should they want to use them; refuses to agree to a legal representative holding the passport when not in use; and refuses to give a location for travel or actual dates of travel until after passports are issued to that parent?

    The other parent also has a strong overseas family connection, and has been extremely difficult to deal with since orders were issued several years ago. Do we have any legal rights to go against this court order?

    Not saying we won't sign the forms - just want simple questions answered. Oh, this is normal for the other parent, they don't answer messages if the issue is not in their favour.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Tricky.

    Without an order that explicitly directs both parties to do all things necessary to acquire passports for the kids, then the parties are each within their capacity to refuse consent for passports.

    Looking at it in practice is a bit more complicated.

    The information that has been requested is not unreasonable, particularly considering the travelling parent has family overseas, which indicates a risk of permanent relocation abroad.

    If the parties are compelled to provide itineraries prior to travel, then the parent seeking the passport is going to have to give that information eventually anyway.

    If you're the parent who needs to give consent, I would suggest stating that you'll provide consent for the passports once an itinerary for travel has been provided at X days prior to travel, as required by the orders. This means they have to decide if the time between disclosing itineraries and the time of travel is long enough to actually have the passports issued once your consent has been provided, or if they're better off disclosing the itineraries earlier than that.

    If you're the parent seeking consent, then I would suggest disclosing the itineraries earlier rather than later. The information requested is not unreasonable. Refusing to disclose it is.
     
  3. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Implicit in the court orders is cooperation between the parents to obtain passports. If the other party subsequently obtains passports and refuses to hand them over when you want to go overseas, then obtain a court order to either hand them over, or if they mysteriously go missing, the other parent must co-operate and consent to you obtaining new passports. If you obtain new passports the originals then become useless.
     
  4. Blue Grass

    Blue Grass Well-Known Member

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    Thank you allforher.

    We did exactly what you suggested in the first instance and as is normal practice we get a message quoting a travel website stating one should get passports prior to booking a trip, then quotes from the orders stating they have given the required notice and will give the itinerary as per orders.

    Since that time, all our messages are ignored again normal practice for the other side. They will not discuss, or negotiate under any circumstances unless it benefits them. We always try to be reasonable and explain why we are asking the question or suggesting something, but what do you do when the other side simply refuses to respond?

    We are also aware that if we don't sign, we will more than likely end up in court again which we simply cant afford to do , again normal practice for the other side.

    Been looking at this new law that is coming in in regards to mind games. It states in there that people cant just give people the silent treatment. Wonder if that would be useful in this case.
    Just so frustrating, especially when the kids have made it clear they don't want to go but are to young to be given a voice in court.
     
  5. Blue Grass

    Blue Grass Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Rod, guess we are trying to avoid court. We have a very bias judge towards the other side for a start, and it is emotional and expensive. I really wish there was someone outside of the court system that people could go to in situations like this.

    Have tried the dispute resolution places but the other side either refuses to turn up, so again, only option is court or they turn up and the same result - they will not negotiate. It's their way or no way, so again, off to court.

    These petty things waste so much court time; we need a better system.
     
  6. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Take a little comfort from knowing that you are not the first person
    who has even been in this situation.
    Have a read of this (scroll down to the bit where it talks about consent).
    Note that the Passport Office won't engage in the Family Law aspects,
    but there may be options that you have not yet heard of.
     
  7. Blue Grass

    Blue Grass Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tim,

    I am sure you are correct in that there are many parents in the same situation as we are in. I would like to see an addition on the Passport forms for parents with court orders, that the countries the children are allowed to visit are listed, and these are Red Flagged in airport computer systems. The concern is that a parent can state they are taking the children to X but once out of Aus they can very quickly obtain new tickets to fly on to Country B.

    As Rod said "Implicit in the court orders is cooperation between the parents to obtain passports" but what do you do, where do you go, when one parent simply refuses to even communicate, and you know if they don't get what they want they will not think twice about dragging the other party back to court again?

    I think all we can do is sign the form and wait for the itinerary to be presented - which we are told will be "sometime"" in the future again refusal to give any dates, ( which also stuffs up any holidays we may want to plan for) and if we have concerns take out an immediate court order to flag there passports to prevent them leaving the country.

    Just so much stress, so many mind games can't people see how bad this is for the children in the middle of it all.
     

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