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Parental Responsibility & Travelling with a Child

In view of the increasing vigilance on the part of the UK Border Force towards people leaving and entering the country, and the approaching summer holidays, it is perhaps timely to remind people planning to take children abroad with them, to ensure their long awaited holiday is not ruined as a result of their exit being blocked.

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Parental Responsibility

When both parents with Parental Responsibility (PR) are travelling with a child there is unlikely to be any problem, but potential issues arise when only one PR holder is with the child. Enquiries may be made as to whether that person has the consent of the other PR holder, with regards the child being removed from the country and potentially they could be prevented from travelling.

Grandparents and Relatives

Increasingly we see situations where grandparents and other relatives are very generously taking children abroad on holiday with them, without any PR holder present and in that situation it could prove extremely disruptive to their plans (and devastating for excited children), if questions arise about them removing the children from the jurisdiction.

For these reasons, it is important to be extremely clear about, and take legal advice on, the circumstances in which a child can be removed, and the type of consent and evidence needed.

  • If there is a Residence Order / Child Arrangements Order / Special Guardianship Order in place concerning the child then it is important to seek early legal advice.

  • If there is no Court Order in place then a solicitor will be able to advise who has PR for the child and, if there is a need for written consent for the child to travel, the solicitor can assist in the preparation of the documents and correspondence.

  • In some situations it will be necessary to apply for a Court Order permitting the child’s removal from the country, and in these cases it is vital to seek legal advice a number of months before the holiday to ensure there is enough time for the necessary work and investigations to be carried out.

Seek Advice Before Booking the Holiday

Needless to say, it would be prudent to seek advice before booking and paying for the trip, and certainly before telling the children concerned about it!

We are able to offer a number of very flexible fee options for the advice needed and, when compared with the risk of the holiday being disrupted or even made impossible by the child not being permitted to leave the country, the cost of a solicitor’s advice could turn out to be a very small price to pay.