Who owns a child’s passport?

Divorced or separated parents with children under 16. Who owns a child’s passport?

A child should always have their own passport which is usually kept by the parent with primary responsibility for that child’s upbringing i.e. the resident parent. If the other parent won’t co-operate in the obtaining or delivery of a passport, that too can be dealt with by the court in a reasonably quick and straight forward application. The child’s passport itself is a possession which is owned by whoever paid for it.

If the court gives permission for a child to travel abroad on holiday and the parent opposed to such contact refuses to make that child or that child’s passport available, such a refusal will expose the refusing parent to being found in contempt of court which, if established, could result in the refusing parent being warned, fined or even imprisoned. It also exposes that parent to being sued for recovery of the costs incurred as a result of the holiday being cancelled.