Sole Custody And Passport Application

by Anonymous from Florida

My daughter is 11 years old and her father has not seen her since she was 5 months old. A week after leaving him he was arrested for sexual battery. He served three years and is now a sexual offender.

While we were never married, he is listed on the birth certificate.

I have never applied for child support and we never went to court in regards to any kind of custody.

I am confused as to what that means. Do I have shared or sole custody?

I would like to legally be sure that everything is in order in case something should happen to me.

I would also like to get a passport for her but I don't believe that I can at this point. I am trying to find out what my best course of action would be?

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Anonymous,

First please note there will soon be new passport forms. New passport forms will be available beginning March 1, 2011.  

Please continue to use the current form, seen below, if you are submitting your passport application before March 1, 2011.

Form DS-3053 must be submitted within 3 months of the date it is notarized.  

The US Department of State, www.Travel.State.Gov, and all passport facilities will make the new forms available on March 1, 2011.

To apply for a minor child's passport and one of the parent's signatures cannot be obtained, you must file Form DS-3053 and complete the section titled: Statement of Special Circumstances.

Complete item 5, Statement of Special Circumstances, only if you are an applying parent or guardian and the written consent of the non-applying parent or guardian cannot be obtained.

Explain on the form that you cannot obtain the signature of the child's father, do not know his whereabouts, and/or he has abandoned the child. If for whatever reason the Department of State will not issue a passport based on your explanation, you can file a petition to the court to name you as the child's sole custodian.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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