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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34911
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I'm about to go through divorce from my husband, I believe

Customer Question

I'm about to go through divorce from my husband, I believe he has started the process from his side with his solicitor. I have the children full time, he has them 3/4 nights per month. He's currently not letting me have their passports. Do I have the legal right to retain them and what grounds do I have to ask for them?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HIThank you for your questionMy name is ***** ***** do my best to help you but I need some further information first.How old are the children and why has he got the passports?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One child is 3 and biologically both of ours. The other is 9 and she's mine, he has parental rights but biologically not his. His mum had them for safe keeping after they came back from a holiday last year. I needed the 3 year olds passport for nursery ID - he made a big song about them coming back to him when I'd shown it to nursery, but when I went to collect it he said he couldn't find it and I should use her birth certificate instead. Now he's refusing to 'find it'.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
How did your ex acquire Parental Responsibility for your older child?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Through the courts. We sought an order, it wasn't contested by her biological father and it was granted at a hearing
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Was it a Residence Order or a step Parental Responsibility Order?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Pretty sure it was both. If it wasn't both the residency may just be in my name but both got done at the same time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't ever remember 'step parent responsibility' it was just 'parental responsibility' if that makes any difference
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
It is important as if it was just a Joint Residence Order (which would give him a form of parental responsibility) then it is no longer valid and you are the only one entitled to the passport
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No there was certainly parental responsibility because it was the first step we took with a view to him adopting her. They granted two orders, one giving him responsibility and the other was for her residency. What about the three year old who is biologically both of our children?
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
In that case since he has parental responsibility for both children he is equally entitled to have the passports in his care - although generally it is the parentwho has the care of the chidlren who holds them.Unless you are actually planning a holiday abroad (which he would need to consent to) there is no point in making an application to the court concerning this.However it is a matter you may wish to discuss with him using family mediation - establishing a procedure for who holds them and when they are to be handed overIf no agreement can be reached then a court application might be necessaryI hope that this is of assistance- please ask if you need further detailsClare