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December 07, 2022


Parental Consent to Travel Abroad: Do I Need My Ex’s Permission?

It is important to be aware that before taking your child out of the country, you must seek permission from all those that have Parental Responsibility for the child.

The only exception to this is if there is a Court Order in place stating that the child is to live with you. If you have this Order in place you can take your child abroad for up to 28 days with seeking permission but we would advise that in any event you do seek permission where possible.

What is Parental Responsibility?

Under the Children Act 1989, “parental responsibility” means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.

Mothers are automatically given Parental Responsibility.  Parental Responsibility is also given to fathers who are married to mothers when the child is born or who are named on the birth certificate of the child.

Parental Responsibility can also be applied for via a Court Order or by entering into a Parental Responsibility Agreement.

How do I obtain consent?

Where possible, consent should be given in writing and state the contact details of the consenting parent. You should bring this consent with you to the airport (especially if your surname is different to that of the child’s) as you may be asked at the airport to produce evidence of permission to travel with the child.

You should also consider bringing the following documents with you if applicable:

  • Birth certificate of the child; and/or
  • Divorce or marriage certificate.

What will happen if I do not obtain permission to take my child/children abroad?

Taking your child out of the country without the necessary consent could lead to a serious breakdown in communication and trust between you and your ex-partner. It is always in the child’s best interest for parents to be amicable with each other and avoid any animosity. Additionally, you could face criminal charges for child abduction!

What are my options if my ex-partner does not agree to me taking the child/children abroad?

If you have tried to get permission from those with Parental Responsibility and are unable to acquire consent you can apply to the Family Court for a ‘Specific Issue Order’ to allow the travel.

For more information on this please contact our Family Solicitor’s on 0121 7566 079.



What is Parental Responsibility?

The Children Act 1989 defines ‘parental responsibility’ as being “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a ...

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