Travelling with Children - no consent form, no father to sign it...

(27 Posts)
Kflori Mon 11-Jan-16 12:02:54

I don't have any immediate plans to travel with my children, but thought I'd better start now to sort something out, just in case, as a consent form seems to be necessary in more and more countries if the children travel with just one parent.
I have two children who both live with me, and we haven't seen or heard anything of their father since April last year - apart from a Christmas and birthday card for them without return address. I have no idea where he is at the moment, though it would probably be easy enough to find out. The problem is that I don't necessarily want to get in touch with him, as both the children and myself are much better off without (he is an alcoholic, and emotionally abused us quite a bit - though never physically). He has also fully blamed me for breaking up (a joke if ever there was one, hah!), and would probably deny consent to travel out of spite.
We have never put anything in place legally after the split - my solicitor sent him a couple of letters saying that if he wanted access to the children, it would have to be under supervision (to which he never replied), but that was that. Then he moved to who knows where, and nothing else was done....
Has anybody else been in this situation, and if you have, what can you do, if anything? Or do I have to bite the bullet and try to find him????

fancyheels Mon 11-Jan-16 12:11:43

Is he on the birth certificate? I have no contact with my DD's father but as he's not on the bc he doesn't have PR. I can't actually remember any time we've travelled abroad and been asked for any sort of consent form, but I know it's becoming more common.

littlewoollypervert Mon 11-Jan-16 12:15:50

DD is 19 now but in the past I got a form (from the internet!) and signed it and got my solicitor to co-sign it. Basically it stated that I wasn't trying to abduct the child. However
a) he's not on her birth cert, and
b) I'm in Ireland so the law may differ
I'll go have a dig and see if I can find what the form was called.
My solicitor was very nice - I had only used him once to buy my house, and normally it's about a tenner per signature, but he didn't charge me.
(maybe I looked like I had money and he thought I might need a solicitor again in the future...unfortunately I don't!)

Kflori Mon 11-Jan-16 12:16:37

Unfortunately, he is on the birth certificate... I didn't know how bad things would be in the future, as he still managed to hide his alcoholism (and all the lies he told me) then!

littlewoollypervert Mon 11-Jan-16 12:17:49

It was a Sole Guardian affidavit - I had to get one every time DD got a new passport. Might not be appropriate for your circumstances but I'm sure this situation is common and there's something else suitable for you.

Kflori Mon 11-Jan-16 12:17:56

littlewoollypervert - you mean your solicitor signed the form, and that was enough??? Can't tell you just how great that would be!!!

Millionsmom Mon 11-Jan-16 12:23:26

Ive travelled for years without a letter from my DH giving permission for travel - apart from Saudi Arabia - with the DC. No one ever stopped and asked for one. As far as I'm aware it's only when travelling to South Africa that you need one. Has there been a law passed in the UK that says you require permission?
Incidentally, when I realised I might need said permission to travel when we were going to Saudi, I wrote it myself and signed it as if it was from my DH. My point is, how would they know otherwise?

SanDiegoSunsets Mon 11-Jan-16 20:50:09

I came on here to ask exactly the same question!

I have travelled with my dd before (USA and Europe) but I am actually thinking of visiting South Africa soon to visit friends. I emailed her absent father (who lives abroad himself) and he's refusing to give his agreement (purely out of spite) so I'm having to look into court orders. All very stressful.

My ideal solution would be to have his PR removed but I don't think he'll agree to that - just to be awkward. He's threatened it in the past and has had almost no involvement with her, but I have a feeling he will do his best to make my life difficult.

SanDiegoSunsets Mon 11-Jan-16 20:51:41

He also pays no maintenance, and the fact that he has ultimate say over whether we can go to SA is bugging me big time atm!!

Fourormore Mon 11-Jan-16 20:54:32

If he has PR then you either need his permission or a court order, I'm afraid. On these sorts of threads you always get people posting to say they've never been stopped but the law is the law and would you really want to be refused entry on arrival to a country? I know I wouldn't.

Providing you are wanting to travel to a country within the Hague Convention and providing you're not some sort of flight risk, the court will grant you the order. Judges don't take kindly to absent parents attempting to prevent their children from having a holiday out of spite.

kua Mon 11-Jan-16 21:11:48

Re travelling to SA you really have to have consent of the other parent and also have it notarised. This caused great problems to our schools sports team who were invited to tour SA. To but it bluntly even with a parent who had consented freely it took a lot of time and effort.

Travelling within the EU and north America I have never had a problem being divorced and travelling on my own with child and neither has my ex, and I've never
heard of any problem.

I suppose if there is a difference in surnames it may lead to further questioning, but if you think of it, why would you not be able to travel on your own with your child while married?

SanDiegoSunsets Mon 11-Jan-16 21:57:05

Fourormore which court order would I need to apply for?

kua Mon 11-Jan-16 22:32:08

Sandiego If planning to go to SA your ex would have to give permission, this means rocking up to a solicitor/notary with birth certificate,marriage licence,passport with all of the above for all of you including the children. Your passports (all of you) need to be copied (each page even though they might be blank) and stamped by the notary. A letter giving permission (from the absentee) also has to be presented and stamped Inc the birth certificate etc etc etc I have honestly never gone through such a bloody palaver!
He was going on a school sports trip (of which they were invited). Did they think we were trying to child traffic a bunch of teens of which we had saved for several years to do so?!

It was a farce but it had to be done in order for DS to do the tour.

I'm not going to lie, some were not able to do the tour due to the restrictions that SA currently place. My DS almost never went due to a page not being stamped. Lucky for us our notary was going as part of the tour (parent) and had his stamp with him!

I would not muck around with SA'S entrance requirements. Though I think it will bite them hard re tourism ie I'd love to go there but travelling as a single parent, no way.

SanDiegoSunsets Mon 11-Jan-16 22:58:49

So, as her father lives abroad himself this would be pretty much impossible. No way he can go anywhere with all of our documents, even if he was willing to sign. Seems the court order might be the easier option!

imnottoofussed Mon 11-Jan-16 23:14:30

Just out of interest are we expected to prove that we are the sole parent with responsibility by bringing birth certificates? I've never been stopped and asked about DD so just curious what would happen if I was.

kua Mon 11-Jan-16 23:53:33

sandiego I genuinely would have no idea in how it works .It must do on some level though.

Fourormore Tue 12-Jan-16 07:16:03

It's be easier to take birth certificates than get stuck in an airport.

The court order would be a specific issue order, form C100. There is usually a requirement to have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before applying to court unless you are exempt (reasons listed in the C100).

user1489175660 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:06:47

Just to say Im in the same boat with spiteful ex who wont give me affidavit to go to SA which is my home with my daughter! so frustrating. forget Trump's travel ban this is just awful not being able to go back to your home.. anyway, yes the C100 is the only way to go and I'm told you need one for every trip you take to SA. i.e one is not valid indefinitely. these court orders cost about £250 a time. I haven't done it yet as I'm struggling to bring myself to go through it all.... just wanted to say hi in solidarity to you others and if you have any updates please let me know!!

delilahbucket Fri 10-Mar-17 20:23:53

I have been to France twice and Greece three times with DS. I have a letter which probably isn't worth the paper it is written on. I've only ever been stopped once, coming back to the UK at Gatwick. I offered the birth certificate and that was satisfactory. They also asked DS a couple of questions (in a general chit chat manner). I was only stopped as we have different names.

spaceyface89 Fri 10-Mar-17 20:41:41

I've just gone on holiday within DS to France, nothing said, no problems. Think onus is on ex to object rather than the other way round.

thinkfast Sat 11-Mar-17 00:24:04

I've been stopped twice travelling to Spain with kids without dh. Had to show their birth certificates and dh's consent letter.

NewYearNewLife53 Mon 13-Mar-17 05:25:02

Sorry to butt in, but am assuming those of you who have been stopped have different surnames to your children? Presumably if you share a surname, there s no problem, right?

juliej75 Mon 13-Mar-17 09:38:12

I think that's right New Year. We now travel with DD's birth certificate as we've been asked a number of times who she's related to (diff surname to the rest of us) and although there's been no suggestion that they'd stop us travelling unless they had concerns (e.g. distressed child), we're happier to have that with us, just to be on the safe side.

DSS has the same surname and we're never asked to prove he belongs to us.

SA is a whole different ballgame although I think they've now relaxed their requirements again, because it was killing their tourism industry.

3xcookedchips Mon 13-Mar-17 09:39:56

Think onus is on ex to object rather than the other way round.

In the absence of a court order any parent taking a child out of the jurisdiction of England&Wales(lets not get hung up on Scotland) requires the permission of the other parent with PR.

If you choose to not get that permission then its a chance you take. More often than not you're not going to get challenged and more often than not its going to be when you have different surnames.

If you choose to seek permission from the other parent and they refuse then you can make and application to court for a Specific Issues Order and it will be granted - more often than not(unless there are extenuating circumstances, eg the other parent presents evidence of potential flight risk). It can be written in to the order it covers future holidays also avoiding the need to make additional applications.

My daughter has the same surname as me but not my ex, we both take with us birth certificate etc....to date neither of has been challenged whilst traveling to most places in Europe and North America - but we have the paperwork should it happen.

RedSandYellowSand Mon 13-Mar-17 09:58:24

I've never got as far as being asked for paperwork, but i get questioned about who the kids are, and them asked when their birthday is, and who i am, probably one flight in 5. I'm white, the kids are duel herertige.

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