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Ex refusing to provide letter to take dc abroad despite no objection to holiday.

(42 Posts)
MNBlackpoolandFylde Fri 10-May-13 14:19:16

Exh and I have been apart years. For the last two years he has not visited (his choice) he has never paid maintanance.

We have been abroad several times in that time no problem.
He knew about forthcoming holiday last August.

He has shown no objection and was positive about it.

Since then he let dc down and one of them picked him up on it and he threw a strop over it. He is now ignoring requests for permission letter. i have an old one from when we went to USA but none of his contact details are still correct.

We are traveling within EU in two weeks on a package holiday.

There is no court order for access or residence order.

I could still go but what happens if I am stopped at airport? I dont know where he lives and he no longer bothers with contact, I have no number for him. We go in two weeks.

MakingAnotherList Fri 10-May-13 14:27:30

If there is nothing in place to stop you from going, do you need his permission?
I only ask as DH and I often take a child or two on holiday without the other parent due to annual leave restrictions. We've never been stopped and I'd never even considered taking written permission to take the children on holiday.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Fri 10-May-13 14:29:00

From what I have been reading if both parents have PR you need permission.

MakingAnotherList Fri 10-May-13 14:32:06

I wasn't aware of that, oops.
Although, my brother-in-law and his ex have the worst relationship, never speak. Both parents have taken the children on holiday without WRITTEN permission. The other parent knew and had no objections, but did not supply proof.

cinnamonsugar Fri 10-May-13 14:38:44

It depends whether you have a residence order. If you have one, then apparently you can take the children out of the country for a month without permission of the other.

There is some information here.

I gave written permission for my parents to take my DC to France and they weren't even queried or asked to show the letter, by the way.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Fri 10-May-13 14:43:39

No residence order as was told I wouldn't get one as he has no objection to where dc live/access etc.

Spero Fri 10-May-13 14:51:21

Unless you have a residence order you do need his permission.

But I have never been stopped in Europe and no one has ever asked where dd's father is or if he consents. I think the US may be stricter.

So you may be worrying unnecessarily but it would be awful hassle if you did get stopped.

The only thing I can think of is for you to apply for a residence order, but no guarrantee you would get it in time, especially if is going to be difficult to serve any court papers on him. But for the future it would help as you then are legally entitled to take children out of jurisdiction for 28 days without permission from other parent with PR.

Sorry you are in this bind. But I was never stopped travelling alone with dd in Thailand or France. It had never even occured to me to get a permission letter and I am family lawyer! Buti suppose if challenged I could have called her dad who, I assume would have said he had no problem.

Dilidali Fri 10-May-13 14:52:29

I take my DD abroad several times a year on my own. I have never ever been asked anything about her dad's whereabouts.

I just had this conversation with my ex. Unless you have a residence order, you officially need a letter. You will likely not be stopped, and chances are you won't ever need it, but technically you should have it.

Depends on where you are going as well, IIRC Canada is one of the places where they almost always ask for it.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Fri 10-May-13 15:09:14

Its an EU country , will be travelling with my parents.

Spero Fri 10-May-13 15:17:55

To be honest I think you should be fine unless they have tightened up in last few years. I went to Thailand, Disneyland Paris and a French ski resort in 2009 - 2010 and no one ever remotely bothered. I was either with friends or my mum.

MrsTomHardy Fri 10-May-13 15:22:21

My xh buggered off 10 years ago, I don't know where he is or have any contact details for him.....I've never been able to afford to take the boys abroad but if I could afford it I would assume I would be able too as its naff all to do with him angry

Xenia Fri 10-May-13 15:32:07

I have never ever in 10 years with 5 children been asked for a letter anywhere and that has included taking them all over the world. However that does not mean someone may not ask you for one.

I took all 5 skiing in Canada (mentioned above) and we were not asked by the way although that might have changed in the last 2 years of course.

Xenia Fri 10-May-13 15:34:23

If he doesn't object and you think a letter might be needed just type one and sign it - the lawyers on the thread will know doubt shoot me dead for saying so but it no where asks for these letters anyway and if he would not object that would probably be fine. I have taken the 5 children to the US quite a bit and never been asked either.

By the way I am very against parents taking children away from the other parent etc so I am not suggesting people should be shipping children to obscure places without the other parents' consent just giving practical advice here where he is happy you go and I have never been stopped.

Xenia - I would be tempted to say I agree with you.

BTW I was telling my XH I'd do him a letter so he could take mine on holiday this summer, he was the indignant one saying he didn't need it - I know he will probably not ever need it but it's better to have it just in case.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 10-May-13 15:38:33

You probably won't be asked. If you don't have a letter, you probably will.

It's the law of Sod, and unfortunately for people in your position, a real and proper law that will be Europe wide before long, and not only for separated/lone parents.

I am very much with dp, but frequently travel alone with dd. Whenever I forget the blasted letter, I get stopped on the way out of Italy and also on the way into the UK (we both travel on UK passports) Whenever I go smugly tooled up with all my letters and photocopies no-one looks twice.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 10-May-13 15:40:08

PS I confess to doing what Xenia suggested once when I forgot the bloody thing.

Signed dp's bit and the lawyer bit. blush (the lawyer is dp's mate)

Dilidali Fri 10-May-13 15:49:33

NotTreadingGrapes: Italy?On British passports?I must have been extremely lucky then, I haven't been asked once all these years, and we go there several times a year!!!! Do the children have Italian passports? Italian names? Mind, mine has an Italian name, but they were never interested.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Fri 10-May-13 16:02:40

Honestly I thought of that Xienia but I dont have his address or anything more than a mobile number.

Xenia Fri 10-May-13 17:03:24

You could put any address on but what is interesting me about all this is that I genuinely have never once been stopped with 5 chldren over 10 years and that includes all over the place, Panama, Antigua, USA, Europe. I wonder why that is so?

peskyginge Fri 10-May-13 17:09:03

As long as you have made reasonable attempts to contact him then you are fine!! No court would see a child go without due to an absent father!

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 10-May-13 17:19:07

Dilidali, yes, Italian name (her Dad's) I always make him wait in the carpark when seeing us off just in case his forged letter isn't enough and he has to come back and verbally give his permission!

Xenia, I think because at the moment it's still not an actual "law" but a "rule" imposed a bit like customs' checks used to be. They stop and ask so many....although when I worked for the Home Office in the 90s, one parent travelling alone, even back then, was (supposedly) given more attention.

Interestingly the BA website is now advising people to get the authorised letters though, and when I asked the UK BA officer, he told me it would be across the board required within a few years.

NotTreadingGrapes Fri 10-May-13 17:20:01

Pesky, the point is, if the other parent withholds permission, the parent travelling effectively could be charged with cross border abduction.

InfinityCubed Fri 10-May-13 17:24:07

I have travelled to several EU countries alone with DC over the past few years, and had never been stopped. Last year I reverted to my maiden name after separating from STBXH ( so surname different to DC's). I was shocked and really quite worried to be stopped on the way back into the UK and asked to prove I was their mother. I was then quizzed about where their father was, did I have his permission etc. All quite scary as STBXH was on a transAtlantic flight so completely uncontactable, but thankfully they let us go after about 10 minutes.

I will be getting him to sign a letter giving general permission (ie doesn't have to re-done each time), and travelling with that plus birth certificates in future.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Fri 10-May-13 17:47:30

Interesting thread. I am married to the DC father, but I often travel abroad alone with the DC, and my passport is in my maiden name, their passports in (my married) their name. We have occasionally been asked at Calais why they have different names, but no-one has ever asked for a permission letter from my husband, had not even occurred to me... On one occasion at an airport, in Greece, the DC were taken aside and asked if I was their mother - I had no problem with this as if I had been trafficking them it would be been their chance to escape...
Wondering now if I should fake get a letter from DH to keep in my back pocket confused.
If you are worried, I would be inclined to do as Xenia suggested....

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