Legal rights of separated parents taking a child out of the UK

by Kidd Rapinet on May 24, 2023
children playing in sea

In cases of separation or divorce, understanding the legal rights of separated parents is crucial, particularly when it comes to international travel with your children. This article provides a concise overview of the legal framework governing the rights of separated parents in the UK to take their children abroad.

Parental Responsibility

In the UK, both biological parents have parental responsibility for their children, if the parents were married when the child was born or the father is named on the child’s birth certificate. Parental responsibility includes the authority to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, including matters related to travel.

Written Consent and Documentation for taking a child abroad

If the other parent has parental responsibility it is advisable, even for the parent with whom the child primarily resides, to obtain written consent from the non-resident parent, and to provide details of the destination, travel dates, and contact information. It is also advisable to carry a copy of the consent letter from the non-resident parent, evidence of your relationship with the child e.g. a birth certificate and a divorce or marriage certificate, if you are a single parent but your family name is different from the child’s.

Legal Intervention to allow your child to leave the UK for a holiday

If the non-resident parent refuses to provide consent, the resident parent may need to seek a specific issue order from the court allowing the child to leave the jurisdiction for the purposes of the holiday. The court will consider the child’s best interests when deciding whether to grant permission for the child to travel.

Trip details for separated parents taking a child out of the UK

You must give details of the trip e.g. the date of departure, when and how you’re returning, and contact details of people with parental responsibility staying in the UK. If consent is not acquired, and you do not have a specific issue order, it could be considered child abduction which can have both civil and criminal consequences. Therefore, getting the right legal advice before making any moves is essential.

Separated parents in the UK have legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to taking their children abroad. Obtaining consent from the non-resident parent, documenting the agreement, and carrying necessary documentation are essential steps to ensure compliance with the law. If consent is denied, seeking legal intervention and taking preventative measures can help protect the child’s welfare. It is advisable to consult with a family law solicitor to understand and navigate these legal rights effectively.

This article was brought to you by Kidd Rapinet Maidenhead’s family solicitors. You can book an appointment with any of the family lawyers across our other offices in Aylesbury, Canary Wharf, Farnham, High Wycombe, Maidenhead or Slough, using the form provided.  Please use the links provided to find more information on divorce or separation, child arrangements and other areas of family law.

These materials and content have been prepared for the benefit of their viewers/readers. They are intended for marketing purposes only and are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice applicable to any particular facts or circumstances. Kidd Rapinet LLP and/or the author(s) accept no duty of care, responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which you or any third party may suffer as a result of any reliance or use by you or them of these marketing materials and content, except to the extent it is not legally possible to exclude such liability. If you require legal advice on your own situation, please contact us so we can discuss how we may assist

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