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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....

Spero Fri 10-May-13 17:55:23

I could never advise you to forge a letter as if you did get stopped and it did blow up and ex denied all knowledge... you could be in a very sticky position as child abduction is a criminal offence.

I don't know if things have tightened up recently but suspect they might as I have recently been tweeted all sorts of articles about how international child abuduction is on the rise.

I think you have a 99% chance of being absolutely fine, but I would be worried about the 1% as the consequences could be dire, particularly if you are caught forging people's signatures.

FWIW my daughter has a different surname on her passport to mine, the only time anyone ever made any comment was when immigration control looked at her very quizzically as she was four and travelling on her baby passport, of course looking nothing like a six month old!

littleducks Fri 10-May-13 19:45:52

For complicated reasons I have surname a, dh surname b and our dc's surname c. Nobody has ever queried anything.

Xenia Fri 10-May-13 21:16:07

Yes, my suggestion of just writing the letter was probably not a good idea although a lot of married couples do sign things for each other however wrong that might be, post etc and many after divorce who have not really fallen out would not object. However given how acrimonious many divorces are it may be used against you later.

I wonder if whether we will ever get stopped. The youngest are nearly adult now it will be interesting to see. Also the standard package holidays they never say anything about that and yet so many mothers take children abroad for half terms whilst fathers work and where I live mothers often take children to India or other home countries from mid July to mid September without the father. It is interesting until this thread I had never even heard of the rule. I have obviously just slipped through the net for 10 years or been lucky with immigration officials. Perhaps Thomson and others should be adding into booking forms on line - if you propose to go on holiday with the children's other parent here is a pdf of a letter of authority to print out and have them sign. Then parents who have disappeared which is terribly common that must be hard then to get these lettesr or children where teh father is totally unknown - one night stands and i suppse we are also saying if the father has died always carry his death certificate with you too.

OneDayMore Fri 10-May-13 22:43:23

This link provides a useful tool for generating a travel consent letter - sorry that it doesn't help in your situation OP, but I thought it might be useful for others.

NotTreadingGrapes Sat 11-May-13 06:24:03

That's the link that I used to generate mine OneDayMore. <resists urge to burst into song "another day, another destiny...." grin>

MNBlackpoolandFylde Sat 11-May-13 14:15:52

"NotTreadingGrapesSat 11-May-13 06:24:03

That's the link that I used to generate mine OneDayMore. <resists urge to burst into song "another day, another destiny...." >"

Haha I just did same!

burberryqueen Sat 11-May-13 14:19:32

well I have been abroad many times and have never been asked for any letter.

MNBlackpoolandFylde Sat 11-May-13 19:48:08

Ok after a bit of pressure ex has just emailed me a letter, it is typed not signed, will this be ok?

I will take her birth certificate, do I need to take my divorce papers?

Just for future who would I get to notarize (sp?) a letter and how would I do that? Would ex have to come too?

Linnet Sat 11-May-13 20:05:57

This has always intrigued me. I was once asked if I had dh's permission to take dd out of Canada, on our way home to UK after our holiday, as it happened he was just trailing behind us with the bags.

I understand that they asked thinking I could be skipping the country with dd but what if I was a widow? would they have expected me to produce a death certificate?
Or what if I had never had any contact with dd's father since before she was born? There is no way to provide permission in this circumstance so what could the airport do, stop you from flying?

Surely if you don't know where he lives and he has no contact with you then you shouldn't be expected to have his permission to take your child on holiday.

peskyginge Sat 11-May-13 22:12:33

Not treading from what I can make out he has not made any objection, just he has not replied. There are defences to child abduction which include taking all reasonable steps to communicate with the other person, also that the other person has unreasonably refused. You only need permission from the father if he has parental responsibility for the child.

peskyginge Sat 11-May-13 22:23:25

Email should be fine. There a millions of kids who have a parent who is totally absent and uncontactable no judge would stop them from going abroad on holiday because they can't physically get permission. As long as you have genuinely tried, and you have you can't be criticsised.

NicknameTaken Mon 13-May-13 16:48:51

Just print out the email. I do have a residence order and always bring it with me, but I've never been asked for it.

Just seen this, xh still digging his heels in, would a letter from his solicitor saying they know he is planning to give us permission enough?

Spero Mon 20-May-13 22:17:44

That just sounds confusing. he is 'planning' to give permission? Well, give it already.

I think your risk of being stopped is small for most places, but if you are stopped and challenged, I don't think a letter from a third party saying the father 'is planning' to give permission will carry much weight.

ihearsounds Mon 20-May-13 22:40:32

My mate travels all the time with the children. Was asked once. Was told well if you can find him to get permission from him , you are more than welcome to do so. While you are at it, can you tell him to start paying maintainance.. They were let through.

It is. He was/is an abuser, and decided to promise to give written permission when I was ready to file papers. Now he's trying to take me to court for other stuff, but breaching the current order. Is a whole other thread.

Think I need something to travel, don't trust him to not try something just before we travel.

iheartdusty Tue 21-May-13 23:35:44

give xh ultimatum, then apply to court for a specific issue order if not a residence order, and ask for an order that xh pays the costs of that application because he he been messing you about. Include all the correspondence with his solicitors.

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