Children on holiday with a parent, Can a father stop a mother taking a child on holiday?

We recently wrote in a separate article about how before too long, the Summer Holiday period will be upon us and schools will be getting ready then to close for the six-week break.

For many, travelling abroad is the plan but for those parents who do not have the same surname as their children, getting away without any issues can be a little complicated.

To avoid children being kidnapped and abducted, there are now more stringent checks and measures in place to ensure that children are not removed from the jurisdiction without the consent of all those persons who hold parental responsibility over them.

If you have then a different surname to that of your child, you need to take note and take action to avoid unnecessary stress and potential delays to your travel plans.

So what can you do to ensure your holiday goes smoothly?

Clearly a lot depends on your particular circumstances, but officials at airports, train stations, ports and other places at either end need to be satisfied with your relationship with your child so you may wish to consider carrying the following items with you in addition to simply your passport:

  • The Child’s Birth Certificate – this document clearly states upon it the given name of your child, their date and place of birth and this should then match the details stated upon their passport. The birth certificate should also clearly show to others the full names of the birth parents but be warned; if your name has changed since the registration of the birth, then you may need to take other documents with you (for example, a decree absolute showing you are divorced if your change of name arose as a consequence of that);
  • Proof of Change of Name – this could mean then travelling with any Marriage Certificate or any Change of Name Deed entered into.
  • You may also wish to consider taking any previously issued passport (for example) in any previous names to show the previous use of any name.
    If you are travelling alone and without the other parent, then it be worthwhile having something put in writing to show and so prove that you have the consent of the other parent to travel abroad. Whilst technically if you have a Child Arrangements Order in place which says that the child lives with you, you can leave the UK for no more than 28 days without having consent, it is good practice to try and reach agreement with that other parent regarding the travel arrangements and so having something signed by them to say they agree to the arrangements can only but help with matters.

Whilst it may not happen, it might be prudent to forewarn any child that they may be asked questions by officials both before and after travelling and that they shouldn’t worry but should nevertheless treat any official respectfully and seriously as making fun at that time might not be well received.

If you require further information about travelling abroad with children or any issue related to child arrangements generally, then in the first instance, please contact David Banks, Solicitor on 0191 269 6871 or email [email protected] for immediate legal advice and help.

As stated, in certain cases, we are able to offer our legal services with the benefit of legal aid.

Disclaimer: This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.