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Separated parents, are you planning to take your child abroad this summer holiday?

7 Aug 2018 | Under Latest News | Posted by | 0 Comments

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Separated parents, are you planning to take your child abroad this summer holiday?

Are you thinking of taking your child abroad this summer holiday? If your answer is “Yes”, then have you taken the necessary steps to obtain consent from everyone who has parental responsibility (PR) of your child?

It may be a criminal offence and/or contempt of court to take a child out of the country without the appropriate consent of persons with PR.

A mother has automatic PR, whilst a father will have PR if either:

  • He was married to the child’s mother when the child is born, or
  • if he jointly adopted the child; or
  • He is listed on the child’s birth certificate from 1st December 2003.

Fathers without PR can obtain PR by getting a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the child’s mother or by getting a Parental Responsibility Order from a Court.

Who needs to obtain the appropriate consent and who can give consent?  

Who needs to obtain appropriate consent?

  • Anyone who does not have PR;
  • Separated parents who do not have a Child Arrangements Order (CAO) or Residence Order in place;
  • parent not named on the CAO or Residence Order as the person who the child should live with;
  • Where a Special Guardianship Order (GSO) is in place, those not named on the Order

Appropriate consent is needed from:

  • The mother of the child;
  • Father of the child if he has PR;
  • Holder of a Residence Order or CAO;
  • Guardian of the child (named on the GSO);
  • Local Authority if the child is in their care;
  • Court if the child is detained or a ward of the court.

 

If you do not have PR and you have decided with the person who has PR of the child to take that child abroad this summer holiday, for your own protection you should consider having a PR agreement in place prior to travelling. This will allow you to make important decisions such as whether the child should receive medical care abroad. It is also important to have a PR agreement in place regardless of whether you plan to travel.

Alternatively, you should get a letter from persons with PR to show that you have the necessary consent to take the child abroad this summer holiday.

In some circumstance you may be asked for a letter at a UK or foreign border. If you fail to provide a letter, you may not be able to leave the country.

If you have a CAO or Residence Order in place for the child to live with you, you will be able to take the child out of the country for a period of 28 days without the consent of the non-resident parent, unless a Court Order says you cannot. However, to avoid any confrontation, misunderstanding or possible applications to the Court by the other person, it is often best to inform the non-resident parent of your travel plans. You should provide details of where you will be staying, for how long, any emergency contact details and flight details.

Consequences of failing to obtain consent

As previously stated it may be a criminal offence and/or contempt of court to take a child out of the country without the appropriate consent of persons with PR.

In addition, the other person may make accusations of abduction and make an application to the Court to stop you from removing the child from the Country or apply for a Court Order requiring you to return the child to the country if you have already left.

The other person may contact their local police, if the police is satisfied that there is a threat of abduction that is real and imminent, they can contact the National Ports Office and ask them to alert all UK points of departure to try to prevent you leaving the country with the child.

What can Bradley Haynes Law do to assist you?

If you have not been successful in obtaining the required consent from a person with PR. Our friendly family lawyers will consider your unique situation, and provide you with clear, concise advice and options to help you resolve your matter.

We can also assist you with obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order or prepare a Parental Responsibility Agreement on your behalf.