A Shropshire law firm is warning parents that their overseas holidays could be disrupted if they do not have the correct paperwork.
Lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, which has offices across the county, are increasingly seeing issues when just one parent is taking children abroad on holiday.
Colin Spanner, head of the family law team, based in the Ludlow office, said some parents were falling foul of the law on family travel.
He said: “In view of the increasing vigilance on the part of the UK Border Force towards people leaving and entering the country, some people wanting to go abroad are currently finding their exit blocked.
“There have been cases when families have been turned away at the airport because they don’t have the correct documents, leaving adults in despair and children devastated.
“When both parents with Parental Responsibility (PR) are travelling with a child there is unlikely to be a problem, but potential issues can arise when only one PR holder is with the child.
“Enquiries may be made as to whether that person has the consent of the other PR holder regarding the child being removed from the country and potentially they could be prevented from travelling.”
Colin said grandparents and other relatives taking children abroad on holiday with them could find it even more difficult because there may be nobody with PR in the party.
“Without any PR holder present it could prove extremely disruptive to their plans if questions arise about their removing the children from the jurisdiction,” he added.
“For these reasons, it is important to be extremely clear about, and take legal advice on, the circumstances in which a child can be removed, as well as the type of consent and evidence needed.”
The main circumstances when serious issues can arise are when there is a residence order, child arrangements order or special guardianship order in place.
If no court order is in place, then a solicitor will be able to advise who has PR for the child, and whether anything needs to be done to ensure travel arrangements are not disrupted.
Colin said: “It would be prudent to seek advice before booking and paying for the trip and certainly before telling the children concerned about it.
“The earlier you seek advice the better because if an application to court is necessary to get the appropriate permission, that court application may take a number of weeks to go through.”
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