You must have consent from anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child (usually both parents) before taking them outside of England and Wales. This usually means that the child’s other parent will need to provide a letter of consent, which contains their contact details so that its authenticity can be checked.
If your child lives with you and that is recorded in a Child Arrangements Order, you can usually take them overseas for up to 28 days without permission. In which case, you will need to take a sealed copy of any relevant Court Orders and we recommend that you check with your Solicitor if you need to do anything else, such as having the documents verified.
If you do not have the same surname as your child, you may be asked to prove your relationship to them. We advise taking extra documentation such as a copy of their birth certificate, adoption certificate or your parental order, as well as any relevant divorce or marriage certificates.
It is a good idea to contact the airline you are travelling with, as well as the embassy for the country you are travelling to, to see if they have any other requirements.
Some countries, such as USA and South Africa, have very strict requirements and although you may have the documents you need to leave the UK, you may not have everything you need to gain entry on arrival.
You can find the contact details for all foreign embassies and High Commissions in UK here.
Further information about International Child Abduction can be found here. If you think your child may be taken overseas without your consent, it is important to act quickly.
Alternatively, you can Get Started Online to receive a Free Confidential Report outlining your position.
Filed Under: Insight