With the holiday season fast approaching have you got your holiday checklist in order?
Sun cream packed
X Permission to take children abroad?
You are all set for your summer holiday, the last thing on your mind may be getting your ex-partner’s permission to take your child out of the country. However, if you do not get their permission then you may find the airport checks more stressful than normal.
When travelling abroad all parties or parents with Parental Responsibility must give their permission for the child to leave the country (ideally this will be given in writing via letter, text message or email) unless there is a Residence Order or a Child Arrangements Order that states a child lives with one parent over the other. In this scenario that parent can travel abroad for up to 4 weeks without the other parent’s permission.
If you do not get permission from all parties with Parental Responsibility and you take the child abroad, you could be accused of the serious offence of child abduction.
It is also wise to get written approval because you may come across difficulties at Border Control especially if the child has a different surname than the person they are travelling with. Border Control is becoming stricter with their rules and want proof from everyone who has Parental Responsibility that they are allowing the child to leave the country.
It is true that most parents would want their child to enjoy a lovely family holiday but in very few cases this can become a problem. If you are facing difficulty in getting the other parent or people with Parental Responsibility to agree to you taking your child abroad then you should seek legal advice immediately or as soon as possible so that issues can be resolved quickly, either through the mediation process or through negotiations with solicitors. In most cases the issues can be agreed. However, in the cases where issues cannot be agreed, applications can be made to the Court, although this really is a last resort.
Unless there are very serious welfare concerns and the trip is in the child’s best interest, the Court is likely to want a child to enjoy a summer holiday and approve the time away.
If you are not sure whether you need permission to take your child abroad then get some legal advice as soon as possible as it enables more time for the matter to be resolved in a straight forward and amicable way.
At HMG LAW LLP we offer all our new clients a no obligation fixed fee appointment and letter of advice for £100 + VAT.
Please contact our Family department on 01869 252244 and ask to speak to Alex or Christina.