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Urgent help Needed - wanting to travel overseas ex husband Won't authorise passports

Ok so I have tickets booked for a trip to New Zealand - flight leaves Wednesday 6th January.   I put in the applications for my daughters passports with additional paperwork as to why their fathers signature or address details were not on the application, this is 1, because he has had no contact of any type with the girls in almost 2 years, and I have no idea as to how to contact him, and even if I did he is the type of person who would say no, as he did just to get at me.

The reason for our trip is to go back to New Zealand to my fathers sides family farm and celebrate my uncles 60th birthday and also the scattering of both my fathers and both grand parents ashes.  I had been waiting for weeks trying to track the progress of their passports but because they were trying to find my ex husband, they had not been finalised, so on the 23rd Dec Passports Australia called to let me know that they had found my ex husband and were sending him a letter asking for his permission for the girls to get a passport.  He was then given until the 1st of January to give or not give permission.  Christmas eve I recieved a letter address to my ex-husband from passports australia, I called them and was confused as to why they had sent a letter addressed to him at my address, apparently that was one of the address they had for him, they had also sent out another to an address that he used when he applied for a passport a few months ago.

Anyway, New years eve around lunch time I recieved a call from passports australia informing me that my ex husband had refused my girls passports, and I can tell you right now, the only reason he said no is to hurt me.  As i said before my ex husband does things to get back at me and hurt me, he has another 3 children, two that live with his parents that he has nothing to do with and one with his current girlfriend.  He pay's no child support, but owns a company that makes over 12,000 a day, but is in his girlfriends name and he earns a low wage for child support reasons.  My ex husband is a total ass hole - and that is being really really nice.  This is just one of the many things he has done to me or my family over the past two years of our seperation and divorce.

So now I have to find a way to get my daughters passports before we are supposed to fly out Wednesday.  I have tried calling legal aid and getting legal advice - they don't do it over the ph and the earliest I can get an appointment is next Thursday, I have tried all the solicitors in the area, and because it being new years eve afternoon, no-one is available.

This is a really important trip for my family, there are relatives flying in from all over the world to New Zealand to help celebrate my uncles 60th birthday and the lives of my grand parents who both died this year and my father who died in 2005, their ashes are being scattered and for me not being there is a huge thing for me, I really want to be there to say goodbye as when my grand parents passed, I could not attend either funeral as my children had no passports.

If anyone knows how I go about getting passports for my children before Wednesday, Please Please PLEASE. Let me know.  I don't care about wasting the money for the flights, it's the purpose of the trip that I am heartbroken about.  My father was my hero, unfortunately for my children theirs is a complete waste of space.

If you can help me or know someone who can please let me know, I will be checking this post hourly as I'm desperate to get them.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think that you will be struggling to have anything finalized by Wednesday even if you could sort something out regarding the consent for the passport. The time frame would simply be to short. If it were me, I would be calling the airline company and letting them know of the situation in advance so that you can delay your flights if need be and although it may not be what you want to do, contact the kids father and just explain how important this trip will be for the children. It's a tricky one for you because of the short time frame.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas
I have no idea on how to contact my ex husband and even if I did, I know he would say no.  He is a horrible person - hence the reason I left him, after seperating and being divorced from him, he used my car to see the girls as he had no child seats and was to drop it back at my mothers but didn't and because it was in both our names the police could do nothing, He then though that his girlfriends brother needed it more than I did, and being 6 months pregnant and having two other children under 3, I found it quite easy to get around to various appointments etc.  The car was written off and I was still paying the insurance, and my ex husband called the insurance company and got the 15000 cheque sent to him.  I am still trying to get it back, he borrowed 10,000 off my mother for his business a month before we seperated and is yet to pay it back.  He went into the bank and withdrew all the funds and closed the bank account (stupid me was still using the joint account - didn't think he would stoop that low) that I was recieving my pension in the day I got paid, leaving me $20 to get nappies, formula and food for my children.  These are just a few of the things that he has done to me since I left him in January 2008. so don't get me started on the things he did to me while we were together.  So calling him for permission for the passports is a definate no, I have no idea how to contact him and he will refuse no matter what I say - it's just the type of person he is.
I am really sorry but unless that father agrees to this on Monday you will have absolutely NO chance of getting passports by Wednesday. It would be different if you had a Federal Magistrates court order to sort out the issuing of passports but in this case that is not a reality. Giving consent on Monday and providing you could collect on the way to the airport you may be lucky. You have simply run out of time to get a next day courier delivery.

Can any of your family speak to him over Sunday about this matter? Do you have a contact number and if not will Passports Australia give that to you? You must have some idea how to contact him as you know what his company is doing. If any doubt defer the travel for the children so you do not completly loose the fare and can use it later. Let the airline know the issue and they will probably be rather sympathetic to allowing the fare to be uised later. Any responses here will be emailed by the site so don't fret you will miss any responses.

It is really quite extrodinary what despicable acts an ex can perpetrate on the children after separation and by refusing the passport in this case, for a trip to our closest friendly country New Zealand is quite simply conduct lower than a snakes belly. You will need to get this request before a Federal Magistrate, but it wont happen  before Wednesday. It is a simple exercise so not sure why you have not already done this. The Federal Magistrates will simply take a no nonsense approach to such a request.

The Magistrate will order passports be created regardless of the father representing or not so it is just a simply spitefull action. I am not sure if we can assist you in anyway. If you have the father's contact number perhaps I can arrange for either I or our Federal Director to call him on Sunday.

The child support issues can be resolved seperately and the key issue here is to get the passports issued. Failing the issuance of a consent for the passports all I can suggest is a web cam session next week at the 60th.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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You could make an 'Urgent Application' to the Federal Magistrates Court in Parramatta. However be aware that these applications are usually for emergency type situations ie child at risk, abductions, airport watch lists et al. A pre planned holiday may not be treated as urgent. The Court will either make an urgent Ex Parte order for which you would need some convincing evidence, or defer it for a later defended hearing. If the respondent fails to respond to a defended hearing the Court is likely to make an order.

Readers should be aware that the issue of Australian Passports requires the permission of both parents. If you are seeking a passport and the other party cannot be contacted or is unwilling to agree then you will need to obtain an order from a Court such as the FMC. This process can take time in the system as the other party is entitled to voice their objections.

For those parents that have airport watch restrictions that the other party has agreed (via a Court) to remove or alter, you should check with the AFP before fronting up at an airport to ensure that the 'removal' has actually been passed onto the AFP.

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