When planning to take children on holiday abroad at any time, what most people do not realise, is the fact that if there are two parents who both hold Parental Responsibility for the children, and only one parent is travelling with the children, the other parent must provide written consent for the child / children to travel abroad.
If a Child Arrangements Order is in place, then different rules will apply. However, the majority of people do not have such a Court Order in place, and are unaware of the rules and regulations.
A letter of consent, or document, can be requested at a UK or foreign border, and if such a letter or documentation is not provided, then this can obviously cause delays and problems at the last minute.
The other problem that may be encountered is if a single parent is travelling with a child/children under a different surname, again, evidence may be required in the form of a birth, or adoption, certificate.
If you are taking other children on holiday with you, such as relatives or your children’s friends, then you will require written consent from those children’s parents as well.
If grandparents are travelling with their grandchildren, without the parents, then they too will require written permission.
Travel to some countries requires a standard form to be completed prior to travelling, and we have experienced this being necessary for countries such as America, South Africa, and Australia.
It is always worth checking prior to departing for the holiday, and a standard format usually needs to be followed with regard to the information required.
If you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact our Law Society Children Panel member, Miss Annette Lowen of our Children Department, who can provide further additional advice to you and assist in drafting any necessary documentation, together with providing certified copies.
This article does not necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not designed to provide legal or other advice. If you require specialist advice on this topic, please contact us to discuss how we may assist you.