Laws Regarding Passports and Divorce


Passports are a widely accepted form of identification, which is why parents should be aware of some of the rules surrounding passports and divorce in Pasadena.

A child needs to have the permission of both parents in order to get a passport. If both parents can't be physically present when the child applies for the passport, a notarized letter from the absent parent is sufficient. The two-parent-consent requirement is waived only in very limited circumstances. The consent can be waived if the applying parent has sole joint physical and legal custody or if the other parent's whereabouts are unknown. The requirement can also be waived if there is an emergency involving the safety or health of the child.

If you are worried that your ex may try to obtain a passport and take your child from the country without your consent, it is possible for you to register your child with the U.S. Department of State, in their Children's Passport Issuance Alert Program. If your child is registered, you will be contacted if anyone attempts to obtain a passport for the child. If there is a temporary court order prohibiting your child from leaving the country while the terms of your divorce settlement are being worked out, you should send a copy of this to the Department of State as well.

A non-custodial parent who owes more than $2,500 in past due child support can't receive a passport. This will put your name on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) list of outstanding arrears, and your application will automatically be denied. You will need to make the necessary payment, then make sure the HHS has provided the Department of State with an updated copy of the list before resubmitting your passport application.

If you are a frequent international traveler, it is a good idea to choose a Pasadena family law attorney with experience in international law to handle your divorce case. Special skills are needed to handle cases involving international travel.