- All holders of Parental Responsibility (which will typically, but not always, include both parents) must consent to their child travelling abroad (outside of England and Wales). The exceptions to the rule are:
- Where the parent travelling has a “Lives With” Court Order in their favour (previously a Residence Order/ Sole custody order), which permits them to take the child on holiday for up to 28 days without the consent of the other parent, OR
- Where the parent travelling has a Specific Issue Order, specifically permitting the foreign travel.
- The UKVI are alert to the risk of child abduction (the unlawful removal of a child from their country of habitual residence) and also child trafficking. They will often now check that the adult travelling has the appropriate consent, particularly if the child does not have the same surname. Further information may be found on the Government website here.
- The key points are:-
- Check with your airline if they have any specific requirements;
- Check with your local embassy in the UK if there are any specific requirements;
- Check with the embassy in the country you are travelling to if there any specific requirements (and age limit for a minor, as it may not be the same as in England and Wales). This is particularly important as some countries have very specific and strict requirements such as South Africa and the USA, thus although you may have what documents you need to leave the UK, you may not have what you need to be granted entry to the country you are traveling to;
- Bring a sealed copy of any Court Order you have permitting you to travel alone and check with your solicitor if you need anything additionally, such as to have your order apostilled;
- Bring a consent letter from the parent(s) or holders of parental responsibility not accompanying you;
- Bring the child’s birth or adoption certificate and if you have a different surname to the children, also bring your marriage certificate or Decree Absolute if you were married to the non-accompanying parent but are no longer married.
Jennifer Moore, Senior Associate, Rayden Solicitors, Hampstead
Jennifer Moore joined Rayden Solicitors in 2015 and has a wealth of experience in all areas of private family law. She has particular expertise in dealing with cases involving children following the breakdown of a relationship, for example disputes as to where a child will live and how much time a child will spend with a parent. She can also advise on complicated matters involving adoption and children cases where there is a social services involvement.
Jennifer also has also dealt with many cases that have an international angle, and as well as children matters, also specialises in complex financial disputes arising out of divorce and separation.
Jennifer is a young mother having recently returned to work and her empathy as a young mother is particularly evident in the cases involving children. She recognises that each client’s circumstances are different and unique to them and her warmth and sensitivity is underpinned with a practical, calm and pragmatic approach to matters in order to achieve an outcome which prioritises a client’s individual objective and provides a long term solution.