Q. I have just separated from my partner and I want to make sure I can see my children for holidays? What should I do?
A. You should firstly speak with your ex-partner and try to agree arrangements for the children over holiday periods. If you can’t agree then you should consider trying mediation. Mediation can be a cost effective way of resolving issues without the need for solicitors or the courts. However, it is voluntary and both of you must be willing to attend. If this doesn’t work you should see a family lawyer who can write to your ex with your proposals for the arrangements. A solicitor can also advise you on whether it is worth making an application to court. Remember however that agreement is always best even if it means compromise on both sides.
Q. My son and his dad are planning a holiday abroad. They have different surnames. Will there be any problem at the airport? Will he need to prove he is his dad?
A. Airport controls are much stricter these days due to the increase in child abduction so it is worth being prepared. If dad’s name is on the birth certificate then he should take this or a certified copy as it proves he has parental responsibility for your son. If he is not on the birth certificate then he should take a letter (or a sworn statement) from you giving your permission for the trip. Include your contact details and details of the trip in the letter or statement. It is probably worth dad taking such a letter even if he has parental responsibility. Before travelling you should also check with the embassy or consulate for the country they are travelling to, to see if there are any additional or different requirements.
For specialist advice about your particular circumstances call our local family and divorce lawyer Karen Weiner on 01923 521003 or email her on firstname.lastname@example.org