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Going abroad with your children and have a different surname to your children?

Cohabiting couples are on the increase in the UK, being the fastest growing family type over the last decade as well as the amount of divorced couple who have either remarried or simply changed their name. Because of this growing family type you will find that a large percentage of children in England and Wales do not now have the same surname as both of their parents.

When travelling abroad Border Control may ask you to prove the relationship between yourself and any child travelling with you if you have a different surname. These checks are designed to help prevent child abduction.

Don’t panic! There are things you can do to prepare yourself for any questions that Border Control may ask:

You can prove your relationship with a birth certificate showing your relationship with the child.
If you’ve changed your name, perhaps following divorce or remarriage, you can show your marriage certificate or decree absolute.

Do I need permission to take my child abroad?

You must get the permission of everyone with parental responsibility for a child or from a court before taking a child abroad.

If you have a Child Arrangements Order in place which states that the child must reside with you, then you can take the child abroad for up to 28 days without obtaining permission from the non-resident parent, unless the Order states otherwise.

It is always best to check the legal requirements of any country that you travel to when you are travelling with children, particularly if you are travelling alone, without the other parent. Some countries may require extra documentation, such as letter of consent from the parent who is not travelling.

It is advisable to ensure you have a letter confirming the consent of every person with parental responsibility before travelling.  The letter should include the other person’s contact details and the details of the trip itinerary. We can draft this letter for you and write to the other parent requesting their consent. The fixed fee for the Letter of Consent is £99.

If you don’t have permission of everyone with parental responsibility, or they are not willing to provide it, then you’ll need to apply to court for permission to take your child abroad.  We can give you advice on this procedure and represent you at court should you wish to proceed.

Contact us on 0191 262 5133 or email us using the form below today

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