Make sure your children’s ID cards match your address

Posted October 18th, 2016.

Categories: Child Custody, Custody Tips, Family Law.


It sounds like a routine administrative task, but it could have important consequences in a custody case: Make sure your children’s identification cards and registration records reflect your home address. Especially where the child has been moving between one parent and another, or where the family has moved recently as a whole, it is important to update ID cards to reflect the child’s permanent and current home address.

When a parent fails to maintain updated records and ID cards for the kids, a court may draw improper inferences. A judge could infer that the parent is transient, unstable, and not intending to remain at the same address for long. A judge could, depending on the other facts presented, conclude that the parent is trying to mislead creditors or authorities about where she and the children are really living. A judge could, if nothing else, think that the parent is just irresponsible by failing to manage her children’s identification cards and records.

If you are the custodial parent, then your home is the child’s main address. If you have a custody or visitation arrangement that’s defined by different terms (for example, you have “majority timesharing” of the child under Florida law), then your home is likewise the main address for the child. In such cases, you should double check all of the child’s cards and papers – school ID cards, church membership cards, Little League and community sports registration papers, health insurance cards, and the like. If you live in a town in which children can obtain public licenses, such as a fishing license or a dog license, these licenses should be updated too. The same goes for children who are old enough to obtain driver’s licenses.

Updating ID cards, licenses and registration documents is part of smart record-keeping. It is one small way – but a very important way – to gain an edge in a custody case and to prevent a court from drawing an improper inference.

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