I have sole custody of my child. She travelled with me to India in 2009 to my home country. Somehow passport ended up with her father since 2009. He is holding her passport right now. I am planning to go to my home country in November for three weeks but he is refusing to give me her passport back. He doesn't want to go her because she can get sick there. I really want to go with her to attend my grandma tribute ceremony. What can i do? Can i go to court (which court) to obtain an order. Can he stop me travelling or does he have right to hold her passport with him.
If this is a parentage case, and there's an order of support, then you are presumed the custodial parent. If that is the case, then the passport office may want a court order to issue you a replacement passport - however traditionally they are more lenient on mothers than fathers.
Or you can file a motion with the court for your ex to turnover the passport.
Before doing anything, talk to a family law attorney in your area for specific guidance.
You did not indicate if you were married to your ex but either way, you probably need to get to court to litigate whether your ex must be allowed to turn over your child's passport. More important, however, is whether you can bring the child out of the country and that does require court intervention if there is no agreement. As for you, your ex cannot prevent you from going. Hire a good lawyer. You will need one. There are many good ones near you.
By sole custody my response presumes that there is in fact an Order in place granting you same. If that is the case you may be able to file a simple enforcement petition seeking to have dad return the passport. I would consult you decree or judgment to determine whether you have the right to temporarily remove the minor child for vacation or other purposes. If not then typically you will need dad or the Court's permission. This is not a quick process and i would suggest that you get something started as quickly as possible if you are planning on a November trip. If dad refuses to provide the passport the Court can order him to do so, if he claims it is lost then he can be made to authorized the issuance of a replacement as Ms. Goldstein highlighted. As to the Court, under the UCCJEA you must file your action where the child has resided for the six month period prior to the filing of the complaint. Your best bet is to go back to the Court that granted sole custody as they likely retained jurisdiction.
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