Modify Consent Order - for passport application


#1

I have applied for a passport for my minor son - he is 14. By Federal regulation consent of both parents is needed. The Consent order established at the time of separation has verbiage saying 'neither party shall transport the children outside the boundaries of the US without the prior notice and consent of the other parent. So, the US Dept of State is asking for a notarized statement of consent from the father, or a modified court order specifically permitting me to apply for the passport and travel with my child. THey included a consent form which the father could sign. I sent the form to the father - he is in California and over the phone sounded very willing to sign the form, get it notarized and mail back to me. This was on the 15th of Jan. I have spoken to him once to see how it was going and he said the notary directed him to see a judge - that they couldn’t notarize it. That was the last I’ve heard from him; he is not returning calls or emails. I’m thinking I may need to prusue the modification route.
My question is whether I need an attorney to do this? Or can I go to the clerk to file a form and go through the process on my own? We are to travel at the end of March so I am getting nervous about this. And if I do the modification, will he need to sign that? Is it possible for me to get an additional court order giving me the permission to apply and travel out of the US that does not require his signature?

Thanks!


#2

I would hire an attorney if you wish to move forward with a modification of your custody order. The modification process isn’t as easy as simply filling out a form or filing something with the clerk. You will need to prepare a motion for modification and have all necessary paperwork filled out. The father will be served, and an actual hearing will need to be scheduled. I would not wait much longer to file this motion if your trip is in March as it can take several months to be reached on the court calendar.