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Do I need permission to take my child abroad?

View profile for Lucy Phipps
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Do I need permission to take my child abroad?

Particularly if you are separated or divorced, in order to take your child abroad, you will need written permission from everyone with parental responsibility. The child’s mother automatically has parental responsibility, but this is not always the case for fathers. Please see our blog, for assistance, if you are unsure if you or the father of the child has parental responsibility.

If permission is needed and is given, then, along with the written consent, it might be useful to take evidence of your relationship to the child, such as birth certificate/ adoption certificate, with you and a Decree Absolute or a marriage certificate with you if your surname is different to that of your child.

You will not need this consent should you have a Child Arrangements Order in place which states that the child must live with you (unless there is a further restriction in the order). In this case, you can take your child abroad for 28 days without getting permission. Please be aware that you should still give details of the proposed trip (travel, accommodation) to the other parent before travelling.

What if permission is not given?

If permission is not given, then you may make an application to the Court, who will then decide whether to grant your application and allow you to take your child abroad, or refuse it. In these circumstances, you will need to give full details of the trip to the Court and to the other party.

If permission is not given and you would like to make an application to the Court, we can assist. If you would like to discuss this further, you can come in to see us for a free 30 minute initial appointment. To make an appointment please call us on 01904 558600.

What if my child is taken abroad without my permission?

If your child is taken abroad or is due to be taken abroad and your permission has not been given, an application can be made to the Court to prevent the child from being taken aboard or to order their return.

This area can be complicated and we would recommend that you seek legal advice if an application needs to be made, as soon as possible. At Harrowells, we can also help with this type of application and we offer a 30 minute free appointment. To make an appointment please call us on 01904 558600.