Taking your children abroad this summer

If you are taking your children abroad this summer; you may have a few extra things to consider on top of packing the sun cream.

You may think you have nothing to worry about and this will be true in the vast majority of cases. However with a number of reported instances of parents being stopped at passport control; there are some things you should be considering, particularly if:

  • your children have different surnames to you;
  • children are travelling without both parents; or,
  • you are taking a child’s friend on holiday.

In this age of increasing child abduction, security checks are being tightened to make sure children being taken abroad are being taken for legitimate purposes. In some circumstances taking a child abroad where all those with parental responsibility have not given consent could be considered child abduction.

If you have a child arrangements order or court order in your favour providing that the child lives with you then you do have the right to take that child abroad for a period of up to 28 days without the other parent’s permission.

However, what if you have divorced, have chosen not to marry or chosen to keep your surname after marriage and your children have a different surname to you?

Our specialist solicitor in the family department Layla Blackmore has some advice: ‘There are steps you can take to help avoid problems at customs and I would recommend taking documents with you to help prove your relationship with any child travelling with you. These could include:

  • The child’s birth certificate;
  • Your own birth certificate;
  • Your marriage certificate or decree absolute;
  • A signed written consent from the parent(s) if they are not travelling with you;
  • A change of name deed, if appropriate; and,
  • Any Court Order.

If you are a parent seeking advice about taking your children abroad or on any family matters then please call our Shrewsbury office on 01743 248148 for an initial discussion.