So its almost time for summer travel and your children need their passports. They may have a valid passport and you need it to travel or they may not have one at all. You may need to apply for their very first passport or reapply for an expired passport. It is recommended that regardless of whether travel is planned or not that every child who is U.S. citizen have a U.S. Passport.
If your ex-spouse or partner is the primary custodian by court order or agreement that party may have the Passport in their possession. They should provide it the the requesting parent and not "unreasonable" withhold it from the traveling parent. Imagine your kids missing out on that trip because you decided to withhold the passport. Make sure that you ask for the passport and can provide as many specifics as possible about your travel intentions. The best case scenario is to provide a full itinerary of where you plan on going, where you will be staying and contact information of where you will be when you are abroad and most importantly a return travel ticket and the date of return. When you travel you may have to be prepared to adjust any parenting time schedule that will be affected while you are out of town. After you return be prepared to return the passport to the party who will be responsible for it. As an extra tip I recommend making a photocopy of the passport. It will make replacement that much easier if it is lost or misplaced.
But what if this is the first time you are applying for a passport. The easiest and quickest was to apply for the passport is for you and your ex or partner to go together to the local post office or passport center.
But what if one party is not willing to apply for the passport? The applying party will need to fill out the DS-11 form (passport application)
Print out the following DS-3053 form and provide it to the non applying party. They must:
Sign the form before a notary.
Provide a copy of the front AND back of the government issued ID to verify their identity.