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QLD Father Won't Consent to Get Passport for Daughter - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Emillia, 10 May 2016.

  1. Emillia

    Emillia Member

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    I have a 17-year-old daughter not getting consent from her father for a passport to travel to New Zealand to see a very close friend and his family. My daughter suffers from depression and anxiety and I am concerned for her wellbeing and as a mother my best interest is allowing her to see a very close friend for a week as a break.

    Her father will not consent and will not reason. He has avoided all discussions and did not respond to my calls or messages. He has not given a real reason for not giving consent and my daughter's emotional wellbeing is my main concern. She is 17 and is living with her father at the moment but was with me for the last 4 months as her father hit her over the head when she asked to get a passport and she did not want to live there anymore. She went back to complete her studies.

    I know my daughter is capable of travelling and all safety issues have been covered and her nan (my mother) has also offered to travel with her for her father's reassurance but he will still not consent. We have tried calling and messaging multiple times and we are trying to avoid court process as this can be time-consuming and costly.

    Her father and I separated more than 10 years ago and have not properly spoken since though I have attempted, she had lived with him and his mother as she could not get in contact with me as they did not let me know where she was or let me see her, but last year her and I began rekindling lost time and our relationship and are now close as ever.

    As a mother, I am worried for my daughter's wellbeing. I see her suffering and the emotional abuse she gets in that house every day and with no real reasoning of why she cannot travel (being 1 year off 18) it angers and upsets me and need some guidance of how I can ensure my daughter can get a passport with or without her father's consent.
     
  2. Emillia

    Emillia Member

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    Also, my daughter's close friend's mother had even sent an email and willingly said she can call him but he still said no and did not hear her out.
     
  3. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Okay, first, there's no need to embellish a dispute about a passport by saying you're worried about your daughter's emotional well-being. If you were that worried, you would be seeking parenting orders, not just a passport, so focus on the goal at hand, rather than what you think will help you get a passport for her.

    My suggestions comes from personal experience, but it's not legal advice, as follows.

    First step is to send the father correspondence containing your intentions for travel and an approximate itinerary, along with a completed copy of the passport application. Request that he complete the section for consent and sign as required, then return to you within 14 days so you can sign it and file it, and clarify that in the event the application is not returned within the timeframe, you will be taking further action.

    If he doesn't play ball, organise mediation.

    If he still doesn't play ball, file an initiating application with the court for an order only that the father do all actions necessary to complete the passport application within 14 days, and in the event he does not comply, that you be at liberty to file an application without his consent, and that he pay costs of proceedings on an indemnity basis.

    I know you want to avoid court, but there is nothing outside of court that compels him to give consent for the passport, so the court may be your only option.
     
  4. Emillia

    Emillia Member

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    He has refused to sign and give consent to anything. I'm not using her wellbeing as an excuse, I find that extremely offensive as my daughter has been going through depression for many years and her only friend moved away (the friend she is wishing to see.) when my daughter asks and wants to talk, he and his mother throw insults and harsh comments at her.

    I have not gone for other parent orders because it can take more than a year and she is an adult next year. He refuses to speak with me or my mother on the phone and when my daughter wants to talk with him and discuss, he does not have any interest and says no before hearing her out. If this is taken to court, what will the judge look at to grant permission for her holiday with my mother (if necessary)?
     
  5. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    The most important thing the Court will consider is the risk of you not returning with the child.

    However, the child is nearly an adult. If she expresses a desire to have a passport, it's very likely the Court will make that order regardless.
     
  6. Emillia

    Emillia Member

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    Okay, thank you. I will contact mediation first as the father is still refusing to respond to my messages and pick up my calls and talk with my daughter herself. Her fathers mother (other nan) keeps mentioning how she wants her to get a job, finish school and wait until she is 18 though my daughter has nearly completed all of last year studies online and is financially stable to travel.

    There's no indication made from me or my mother or my daughter that she will not return, we have even tried telling the father her passport can be made for one specific destination and/or held by a third party when she returns. Still no interest in talking.

    Thank you for your replies.
     
  7. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    Have a look at the material on the Passports Office website (scroll down to the bit about passports for children where one parent does not consent).

    Bear in mind that until you have tried and failed with the department,
    the court will likely be less inclined to make an order on the child's father,
    let alone make an order on the Department to issue one.
     

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