Let us explain what a parent can do about it.

We receive a countless number of questions on this subject and usually women seem to be affected by this issue as more have a different surname to their child. Some may be divorced from their child’s father and have remarried taking on a new name. Other women are married but have chosen not to take their husband’s surname whilst their children do and of course, there are many unmarried couples who have children.

So, you are now looking forward to enjoying some time away in the sunshine as the summer holiday approaches but if you have a different surname to that of your child you need to take note and take action to avoid unnecessary stress.

The checks that are in place at ports, airports and international railway stations to prevent children from being kidnapped are all very understandable but they have caused a huge amount of stress, upset and even missed flights for many women and their children. This can easily be avoided by ensuring you carry the right documents.

So, what can you do to ensure your holiday goes smoothly? Much depends on your particular circumstances but the officials need to be satisfied with your relationship with your child so you will need to consider the following:

  • Your child’s Birth Certificate – this document gives the name of your child, their date and place of birth and will match with the details on their passport. It will also give the full names of both parents at the time of their birth. So be careful; if your name has changed since your child was born you will need to take more documents with you.
  • Proof of your change of name – this could mean travelling with your Marriage Certificate or a Change of Name Deed.
  • You might also want to warn your children that they may be asked questions directly by immigration and they should not be worried and answer clearly and honestly. This is not the time for them to make jokes.
  • If you are not travelling with your child’s father I would always ensure that you can prove you have the father’s consent to you taking the child abroad.
  • If there is a Child Arrangements Order in place, which states that the child lives with you, technically you only need to obtain the other parent’s consent if you are going to be out of the UK for more than 28 days.

However, in every other case, you should have the permission of every other person with parental responsibility for the child. If you do not have this consent or a Court order, you are committing child abduction.

Talk To Our Family Law Specialists

Our team of experts are on hand to help guide you through the complexities of Family Law. If you are needing advice on Child Arrangement & Parental Disputes, Child Support, or Child Abduction, call us today for friendly and helpful advice. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Call today on 0191 5009337 or 01670 707338 during office hours or 0191 500 9338 at any other time.

We always recommend asking the other parent to sign a consent form before travel or to write a letter setting out their consent. The document should provide the full contact details of the other parent and specific details of the trip including the dates, destination and address. The other parent should sign the form. It is also a wise idea to attach a copy of the other parents’ passport to the consent form.

Travelling abroad with children can be stressful enough. However, you can minimise some of the costs by ensuring you have enough space in your luggage to pack this array of documents. Happy holidays!

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