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Is it possible to obtain a passport for my child if my spouse will not sign the Application form?

As a divorce lawyer in Calgary, I have to admit that I am somewhat amazed by the number of occasions that I have witnessed a parent refusing to sign the Application form that the other parent has asked them to sign so as to enable their child to obtain a passport.

Fortunately, the Courts in Calgary are well used to dealing with Applications to remedy the situation.

The situation arises because of Passport Canada's insistence that both parents sign the Application form. Clearly, this is to ensure that one parent does not inappropriately apply for a passport without the other parent's knowledge.

However, it also has the unfortunate effect that, when one parent unreasonably refuses to do so, the other parent is left with little alternative but to make an Application to the Court for an Order dispensing with one parent's consent.

While an Application for a child's passport will ask whether there are any existing Court Orders or written agreements between the parties that deal with the issues of custody and access, guardianship and parenting, and requires the parties to supply such documents, their interpretation of the documents is not always consistent with how a Court would interpret such documents.

In essence, the party that wishes to obtain a passport for a child is usually best advised to complete the Application for the passport, provide this to the other parent and request that parent to sign and return the Application to them, preferably in writing. If the other parent refuses to do so, and provides a reasonable reason why, the requesting party would be best advised to address the issue raised.

If, however, the other parent simply says, "No", it is likely that the requesting party will have to make an Application to the Court to obtain the Order referred to above. When doing so, they will usually exhibit the written request to the evidence they file and, unless the refusing parent is able to provide the Court with a reasonable reason as to why the child should not have a passport, the Court will usually agree to permit the requesting parent to obtain the passport without the consent of the other parent, and this document will form part of the Application for a passport.

If you have any questions regarding the above, or if you would like to contact me to discuss any question you may have regarding separation, divorce, division of property, spousal support, child support, custody and access, or guardianship and parenting, please call me on 403-538-2105, or contact me via email using this link.

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