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JimLawyer
JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1294
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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My husband and I have had a rocky relationship for a couple

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Hi Pearl, My husband and I have had a rocky relationship for a couple of years now. On Thursday he is taking our 3-year-old daughter to France to visit his parents but he has not told me when they will return. Is there any legal way I can stop him taking her out of the country without supplying me with this information? Also, if he does extend his stay there beyond the intended return date, is there anything I can do to get our daughter back? Kind regards, Rose
Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?
Customer: No. We're having counselling. Still living together. Still married.
Assistant: Family Court normally sits in a local County and Magistrates' Court. Do you know the location of the court? If not, what county do you live in?
Customer: We live in Berkshire (RG2 9DY).
Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Do I have to pay for the advice?

Hello, thank you for the question.

He would need your written consent to take your daughter out of the UK - if he does not have that, he could be arrested for child abduction and you could notify the Police before he leaves to ensure he cannot leave the UK. You need to know the date your daughter will be returned - I would tell your husband this. Given you both have parental responsibility, he cannot leave the UK with your daughter without your written consent. If he was holidaying in the UK, he could do this for up to 28 days but as it's France, he still needs a letter of consent from you.

If he stays beyond the date he says, you can report him to the Police who will arrest him for the same reason - child abduction.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a star rating, I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.

Kind regards,

Jim

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you Jim, that's interesting information. When I took Phoebe to Spain without James in July, he didn't have to write a letter of consent. Is it different because I am the mother? Or because the return journey was already booked?

No, either party needs to do a letter - if border control stopped either of you with the kids and you could not provide a letter, they may not let you through. Further, if the other parent found out the kids were taken without their consent, they could contact the Police who treat it as child abduction.

James did not need to write a letter and in practice border control don't check them unless he notified the Police in the UK in which case the Spanish police would have a marker on your passport and would have stopped you (if James did not consent to you going to Spain, for example).

As such, it is always advisable to have a letter of consent.

I hope this helps - if you can please accept the answer and give me a star rating, I can answer follow up Q&A's at no extra charge and Just Answer will credit me for helping you today.
Kind regards,
Jim

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