The summer holidays are nearly over. If you are a separated parent who has found themselves stopped at the airport when travelling with your children this summer, take note of the following ready for your next trip abroad:

  1. If there is no Child Arrangements Order in place, you may need to apply to court for permission if you want to travel abroad with your child, and another person with Parental Responsibility does not consent. You could be found guilty of child abduction if you take a child abroad without permission, which is a criminal offence in the UK.

  2. If there is a Child Arrangements Order in place that says a child is to ‘live with’ you, you are allowed to take the child abroad for up to 28 days. You may be required to provide your Child Arrangements Order at the airport as evidence, and so it is sensible to have this available with you when you travel, to provide as evidence if needed.

  3. If there is no Child Arrangements Order in place, but the other parent (or other individuals, e.g. grandparent) with Parental Responsibility has consented to the trip, bring evidence of the approval in the form of a letter from the other person with responsibility. The letter should include the other person’s contact details and details about the trip.

  4. Other documents that you are advised to have available as evidence are your child’s birth or adoption certificate as evidence of your relationship with the child, evidence of change of name if your surname is different from your child’s, for example a Decree Absolute if you have reverted to your maiden name on divorce.

If you require family law advice, please contact our family law solicitors on 0161 941 4000 or email us at

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