Mother is required to sign child’s passport papers

A mother can be ordered to sign documents so the father can obtain a passport for the couple’s daughter, the Alaska Supreme Court recently decided

The parents, who share custody, had difficulty cooperating in their daughter’s upbringing. When the father wanted to visit relatives outside the country, he applied for a passport for the daughter so he could bring her along. Under federal law, both parents must consent in order to obtain a passport for a child under the age of 16.

When the mother refused to sign a consent form, the father sued, claiming it was in the daughter’s best interests to obtain a passport.

The court agreed, noting that the daughter would benefit from the opportunity to travel abroad, including school exchange programs. To allow the mother to deny the child a passport without giving a good reason would harm the girl’s interests, the court said.