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Episode 24 Transcript: Kids' Passports + Citizenship Post Divorce

In today’s episode, we are going to be speaking about passports for children and children’s citizenship as they can come up in a divorce and specifically as they can be addressed in your divorce agreement.

Where one or both parents are citizens of another country, have citizenship other than US citizenship, there are two issues that can come up with respect to the kids in the divorce process that can be resolved in your divorce agreement.

One is whether and when the children would be allowed to obtain the other parent’s citizenship, outside of US citizenship, and also, if and when they obtain that other citizenship, what kind of notice would be provided to the other parent or what kind of information would be shared with the other parent about that citizenship application process and about when citizenship is granted.

Typically, you’d be saying that the other parent has a right to be informed of that process, of when an application is made, of when an application is granted, for citizenship.

But the other thing that comes up is with regard to children’s passports. This can be relevant even where the children only have US citizenship and they only have US passports. There’s a question of who holds the children’s passports. Does one parent hold them? Do the parents alternate years holding them? If you have multiple children, sometimes one parent will hold one child’s passport, and the other parent will hold the other child’s passport.

If international travel with the children or taking the children out of the country is or may be an issue for you, related to that, sometimes the possession of or the holding of children’s passports can also be an issue that you can speak to and resolve in your divorce agreement.

In particular, if we’re talking about passports for a country outside the US that the child has citizenship of, oftentimes if the…if there is one parent who does not have that citizenship, and they are concerned about the children having foreign passports and foreign citizenship, the agreement will be that the foreign parent is allowed to pursue that citizenship and those passports for the children, but that the domestic parent would be the one who would hold on to the children’s passports.

Typically, an agreement would also say that parent who’s holding the passports does not get to unreasonably withhold the passports from the other parent, but it gives the domestic parent some sense of reassurance that the children won’t be spirited away to another country, never to return.

So, that concludes our mini episode on passports and citizenship. I hope this was a helpful topic for you.

 

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