Who holds passports?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2010
Who holds passports?
280
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 6:52am

Real life sitch.

I'll have to do a bit of BM sux to give background.

BM and BD are separated for 5 years. BM is CP, BD has EOW and 1 month in summer.

BD pays CS but had it reduced significantly in court last March. BM was angry and stopped access as a result. BD had access reinstated via court but it took nearly 3 months. Court ordered assessment of children and for the counselor to recommend access. Counselor came down on the side of the father and access was reinstated.

BD lives with gf. Gf has a job which requires that she make occasional trips abroad to places like Paris, Rome, London, etc. The job allows her to occasionally bring the entire family (BD and his DD7, his DD5 and his DD3 with gf), all expenses paid. Usually only BD, gf, and their DD3 go because BM won't give extra access.

Last Feb BD asked BM to sign for passports so DD7 and DD5 could accompany the rest to Paris for 7 days during summer access. BM refused. To cut the story short, BD had to involve lawyers and courts. 3 times BM agreed to sign but 'lost' the passport forms. There were lots of scenes from BM and lots of lying to the children over why they couldn't go. At one point BM told the children the counselor wouldn't let them go but the counselor set it straight by explaining she never said that and that she thought they should go. BD finally got passports but it cost over $12,000 by the time all the courts and lawyers were paid. Also there was a lot of hassle, getting photos 3 times, getting forms 3 times, taking off work to get things done, court 3 times, police signatures 3 times, BM agreeing to meet to sign forms then not showing up, etc. The court agreed that BM's tactics were all designed to delay in the hope that the passports would not be issued in time for the trip. In the end the passports were finally issued 3 days before the trip and the trip went well.

Now BM insists that as NCP she should hold the passports and is demanding that they turned over to her. BD refuses as he believes she will 'lose' them again and the next time he wants to take a trip abroad he will have to go through the same hassle and expense. BM did not pay anything toward the passport fees or photos. BD and gf travel abroad 5-6 times a year but BM doesn't and doesn't like to travel. BD is willing to have it written into the order that he will supply BM with passports upon receipt of any travel itinerary but that she would be required to return the passports to him at the first access following travel or be held in contempt. BM refuses to make this change to the CO and will accept nothing less than full control of the passports with no stipulations about releasing them to BD when he has proof of travel plans.

Who should hold the passports, NCP or the parent most likely to travel?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2009
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 7:07am

Please clarify a couple of points.

1. Now that BD has the passports, can he take the children wherever whenever without BM's specific approval?

2. I see that BM is demanding 'custody' of the passports. What can she actually do to make that happen?

Meez 3D avatar avatars games


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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2010
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 7:14am

Even though BD has passports he still must have permission from the other parent to take the children out of the country. The reality is that if he has to go to court for permission, it will always be granted provided the children are not to be taken out of school. Generally courts award permission to travel abroad even if the trip is on the other parent's time.

However, BD would not take the children out of the country without informing BM. BD has proposed an agreement that either parent can take the children abroad without explicit permission needed provided they give the other parent a copy of the itinerary at least 4 weeks in advance and provided the trip does not interfere with the other parent's time and will not require the children to miss school. BM refuses.

It is possible that if BM pushes the issue through court she could be awarded 'custody' of the passports since she is CP. It is a toss of the coin which way a judge would rule.

BD and BM would prefer to come to an agreement outside of court.




Edited 8/27/2010 7:15 am ET by m4s2
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 7:18am

The NCP with the provisions as outlined in this post (will provide passports upon notice (say 2 weeks for the fun of it) of travel, as well as documented proof of airline tickets bought (so BM can't scam the passports away).

Now if it had been me, I'd have done everything in my power to make it impossible for the BD to take the kids outside the country, up to and including a CO provision denying me that right as well, if necessary. But BM didn't do that and even if she tried, the courts ruled against her. Given her delay tactics (which I kind of admire, annoying as I'm sure that is for the BD), I'd say she can't really be trusted as the holder of the passports and since she's not paid a dime for them, they should reside with BD.

************

Kitty

"I suppose it is unfortunate that "I counting isn't me strong suite" any more than "you grammar and spelling is you strong suite". We'll all just have to struggle through, huh?"--From the Immortal Wisdom of Xyro

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************

Kitty

"If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing."-- Kingsley Amis, British novelist, 1971 t .

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2010
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 7:29am

"Now if it had been me, I'd have done everything in my power to make it impossible for the BD to take the kids outside the country, up to and including a CO provision denying me that right as well, if necessary."

Really? I'm just curious. Why would you deny your children the experience of visiting other cities? Travel is so educational and enriching.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-04-2009
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 7:33am
I wouldn't deny them the opportunity to visit other cities. Only international ones. And only until they were of age. Sorry, I wouldn't trust my ex to travel internationally with my kid. I'm pretty wide open on most issues with my ex, but I have some limitations and that's a big one.

************

Kitty

"I suppose it is unfortunate that "I counting isn't me strong suite" any more than "you grammar and spelling is you strong suite". We'll all just have to struggle through, huh?"--From the Immortal Wisdom of Xyro

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

************

Kitty

"If you can't annoy somebody with what you write, I think there's little point in writing."-- Kingsley Amis, British novelist, 1971 t .

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2008
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 8:07am
If "I" were BD and had no requirement in the CO regarding either passports or prior auth before traveling with children, I wouldn't give them to her.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-08-2010
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 8:40am

I hold the passport :)

Because I'm the only one with a passport. This is terrotory that hasn't been explored yet.

I don't believe SO or BM have ever been abroad during their adult lives :/
It's a shame because there's so much to explore!

But ultimately I think passports should be held at the custodial home because that's the address the kids are registered to, and the address the passports will be sent to.

If CP is allowing NCP to travel with the children then she'll probably allow them to use the passports regardless.

Rather than CP or 'who is most likely to travel'. The passports should be held by "whoever is less likely to lose them" if one parent has a habit of misplacing things.

If neither parent is opposed to the other taking the kids abroad(with proof of travel plans: this is reasonable), should it really matter who holds them?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2010
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 8:47am

Dad should hold them since he paid for them.

And BM sux.

But...

I wouldn't release a passport to CFP unless a court forced me to do so. And then I'd probably "forget." So I sux too.

ETA that like Puss, I totally admire BM's suckitude. She should have tried filling in one of the forms wrong "by accident." That would've given her another kick at the can, possibly :) Oh, and like Puss, I'm not opposed to international travel. I'm a fan. But NO ONE is taking my 5 and 7 yo (or in my case 11 and 6 yo) children overseas but me. And I'd make him take me to court for permission every. time. after he got the passports.

(I just found out that I DON"T even need to inform CFP that I'm getting a passport for ODD. So stoked about that!)




Edited 8/27/2010 8:51 am ET by mistress...shifu
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-31-2009
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 8:51am

~~But ultimately I think passports should be held at the custodial home because that's the address the kids are registered to, and the address the passports will be sent to. ~~

This.

We hold ODSD's passport, and if YDSD ever gets one, BM will hold it.

I know this situation has a lot of 'ya'but's', but legally I think the CP should hold a child's passport.

Mizster-M Kitteh....  ...gatherz hiz minionz...
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-13-2009
In reply to: m4s2
Fri, 08-27-2010 - 9:01am
I think CPs should hold passports and I think overseas travel is a priviledge and not a right.
A Stepparent is as much a parent as an ex-wife is a wife.

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