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Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35044
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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There, Have a question... but first a little background.

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Hi there,
Have a question... but first a little background. I separated from my children's mother around 3 years ago and have been living with my new partner for 2 1/2 years. My ex has since remarried and they are expecting their first child shortly. My new partner has assumed the role of step mum and we are due to marry soon. All good. Happy ending.
The problem is my mother, ie. The girls grandmother. We are not communicating and have not for over 2 years. She wishes to take the girls abroad next May/June and has already discussed and agreed this with their mother. She has even told the girls that they are going. I have not been consulted, I found out from the girls this weekend. I'm not particularly comfortable with the idea, partly as I am naturally very protective of the girls, protection I was not afforded as a child. The main reason is I simply do not trust my mother.
So, my question is this... As my name is ***** ***** birth certificates, giving me parental responsibility as well as their mother, will the girls need consent to travel from both of us as parents? Their mother seems to think I do not have a say in this matter.
The way I see it at passport control is you will have the confusion of say, the Smiths taking two Jones children away with consent from the Wrights....
just a quick note on visitation.... I have the girls almost every weekend, probably missed 5 in a year, pay £250 per month maintenance, pay for all extras such as dance academy/swimming/days out and take them on holidays. All mutually agreed of course.
Your thoughts are very much appreciated.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children and what is your objection to the trip?
Is there a Residence Order in place?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, children will be 9 & 6 at the time of the trip. No residence order in place

Main objection is the abuse that my mother allowed myself and my sister to be subjected to as children, I feel that she is not a trustworthy guardian.

Where is she taking them and can you clarify what risk you fear they will be at whilst on holiday?
I assume that your ex is aware of the history?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


The trip is planned for Portugal in June.

I can only draw on my own experiences and i could write a book on bad parenting through these experiences.... so things like severe sunburn through lack of parenting... both my mother and her husband are not competent swimmers and the girls are still learning so that is a concern. Abduction/missing while on holiday through lack of attention as my mother's husband tends to go on holiday for one purpose - drinking.

My main question is will my ex and I have to draw up a consent letter or can my children just be taken on holiday without my consent?

Many thanks.

Have you discussed your concerns with your ex (this is a very relevant issue)
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, but not in great detail. She belives I am being an over protective father. She is aware of my concerns but shrugs them off saying that the girls have been told now and they are excited. Her main concern seems to be that if my mother takes them on holiday then she doesn't have to. Saves the effort and money I suppose.

Many thanks.

No one can take the children abroad without your agreement or an Order of the Court.
If you wish to be certain that they do not leave the country then you can apply to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order
The court will then consider whether or not your fears are justified
I have to say that based on what you have said there is limited chance of success - but that does not mean that you are not entitled to try
Please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** both mine and their mothers consent is required as we live apart?

what will probably happen is my mother will produce some kind of foney consent form with only their mothers name on it. She has been quoted as saying "I don't need his permission to take my grandchildren anywhere"... deluded to say the least.

Thanks again.

Neither you nor your ex nor anyone else can take the children abroad without the consent of both parents.
However it is unlikely that your parents would be challenged if they took the children and had their mother's consent.
If you wish to try prevent it you will have to apply to the court
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you