Passport warning for divorced parents wanting to travel with their kids this summer

FAMILIES wanting to apply for their kid's passports are being warned not to delay the process if the parents are separated.

Experts are warning this could affect anyone wanting to go abroad this summer, as new passport applications hit a record high.

Parents who are no longer together must still both be named on the child's passport – if this is not possible then it must be explained.

Charity National Family Mediation (NFM) has helped more than 150couples in the last 18 months who have disagreed over their child's passports.

The caution comes amidst growing concerns about the backlog being caused by the surge in new passport and renewal applications following the lifting of most travel restrictions, with the UK Passport Office advising people that the process could take up to 10 weeks.

CEO Jane Robey explained why parents who are not together should be careful about disagreeing on their kid's next holiday.

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She said: “Holidays abroad are supposed to be fun and exciting, and they are likely to be even more so this year given the fact that many families haven’t been able to travel of late as a result of Covid-19.

“However, for couples in conflict, passports for the children and travel to another country can also be a contentious topic, and for a whole host of reasons.

“When one parent feels particularly strongly about the issue, it’s not uncommon for them refuse to approve a passport application, which inevitably leads to further disagreements.”

She warned that their mediators often see an influx in requests ahead of the summer months, and warned this is expected to rise this summer too.

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She continued: “Our mediators always see an increase in cases relating to passports for children in the months before the summer break, but we are expecting a further surge this year as so many people put off applications and renewals while the travel restrictions were in place."

“My advice to anyone wanting to travel this year is to discuss the matter with your ex as soon as possible to avoid further delays.

“If you’re relationship is too fragmented, it is worth considering speaking to a professional mediator as they are highly skilled third-party negotiators with experience in helping families create long-term solutions that work well for their particular circumstances."

She said couples can apply for a Family Mediation Voucher Scheme worth up to £500 or can use legal aid to help.

The government website warns parents who are travelling without the other parent to always get proof of permission.

They explain that having evidence of the relationship with the child, such as a birth or adoption certificate, as well as a divorce or marriage certificate, can help – especially if there are different surnames.

If one of the parents does not give their permission for the child to travel with you then you will need to request permission through the court.

Brits applying for their child's first passport may run into issues if they are a single parent.

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Parents who have different surnames to their children will also need to take documents with them.

And a mum has revealed a clever passport hack when applying for a young child's passport.

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