Family Law

How to Travel Abroad If Your Children Have a Different Surname

Summer holidays are just around the corner, and most of us have plans to soak up as much sun as possible. If you plan on travelling and have a different surname to that of your child, Royce Legal Solicitors recommend that you take action now to avoid needless tension.

Why Is a Surname Important?

Most women have different surnames from their children because they have either divorced from the child’s father or remarried and taken up a new name. Likewise, some women marry and choose not to take on their husband’s surname (the children obviously do) and most often, children are born out of wedlock. 

Why should your surname not matching your child be a hindrance? It is because the security checks at airports, international railway stations and ports are placed to prevent the kidnapping of children. On the contrary, they also cause missed flights and unnecessary stress. But the solution is simple -the correct documents can help you breeze through security. 

Required Documents

Royce Legal Solicitors understand that every circumstance is unique, but the objective is to satisfy officials that you are related to the child. You should carry the following documents as proof:

Your Child’s Birth Certificate: 

A birth certificate states your child’s name, date of birth and place. It will be required to match with the details on their passport. The birth certificate also lists the parents’ full names (at the time of birth). Hence, if your name has changed since your child’s birth, you will require further documentation. 

Proof of Change of Name: 

A Marriage certificate or a Change of Name Deed will be required. Sometimes carrying an old/expired passport with your previous name (at child’s birth) can also come in handy. The Border Official will easily tie up the birth and marriage certificate and the current and expired passports as enough proof to satisfy your relationship with the child. 

Consent to Travel

Immigration officials also require the others parents’ consent to taking their child abroad. If a Child Arrangement Order states the child resides with you, the other parent’s consent will be required, if you plan to stay outside of the UK for more than 28 days. 

Nonetheless, permission from people who carry parental responsibility is a must. Otherwise, this is seen as “Child Abduction.”

Royce Legal recommends that you ask the other parent to sign a consent form or write a letter stating their consent. The document should include contact details, trip details, inclusive of dates, addresses and destinations – this will be signed by the other parent. We also recommend attaching a copy of the other parent’s passport to this consent form. 

Prepare Your Children

It is best to let your children know that they may be questioned directly by the Immigration Officials as part of the procedure. They should answer questions honestly and clearly. Questions entail names and relations of said mother or father, the child’s age and where he had been. 

How Royce Legal Can Help?

We are aware that every family’s situation is not the same. Therefore, we encourage that you contact our Family Law Team for more guidance. Everyone deserves a stress-free start to their holidays.  Putting in the extra effort to keep these documents at hand can minimise that stress and the costs involved in these procedures, immensely. Happy Holidays!

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