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If your surname is different to your child you could face serious trouble at the airport - here's why

Parents and grandparents need to make sure they have the right documents to avoid hassle at airports

It's not that uncommon to have a different surname to your child, but it can cause serious problems if you ever decide to fly with them.

Taking your child on holiday could land you in a child abduction case if you're not careful. An estimated 600,000 patients have been stopped, grilled or even turned away at border control.

Next time you jet off with your child from Heathrow Airport, be sure to carry the right documentation to avoid having your holiday ruined.

Manchester Evening News reported that a 28-year-old mother ran in to trouble when returning from a holiday with her partner Scott, their daughter and Scott's mother.

Hannah Marshall was not married at the time when they flew back to London Stansted, and therefore had a different surname to the young girl.

"While queuing I went to one desk with my daughter and my partner and his mum went to another desk for passport control," she said.

"They looked at both mine and my daughter's passports then asked me how I knew the little girl and when I said it was my daughter they asked why I did not have the same last name.

"They asked my daughter who I was to her and that's when my partner came over and explained that she's his daughter too and as we weren't married she had his last name.

"They told us that my partner should have taken her through passport control because I would need to prove she was my daughter. They checked my partner's passport to prove she held the same last name and then let us through."

Families can have their holiday plans grounded before they've even flown out(Image: iStockphoto)

Lawyer David Connor suggests parents and even grandparents need to plan ahead to avoid their holiday being over before it even starts.

Mr Connor, who heads up the family department at Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors, said: "People need to take extra caution when holidaying with children who don't share their surname as they could unknowingly end up embroiled in a child abduction case, be refused past check-in, or turned away at border control.

"It's vital you have the correct documentation to hand or it could derail your trip.

"For separated families, you'll need evidence of approval from your child's other parent, but remember to seek approval from everyone with parental responsibility - this may include grandparents too."

He added: "You'll also need a copy of any Child Arrangement Order which proves you have court approval to take the child abroad.

"It's vital that all evidence marries up and this is where divorced parents are often caught out, particularly women who revert back to their maiden name.

"A change of name deed will help here, which can be supplied by a solicitor. Take a copy of your child's birth certificate with you too to prove who you are."

Parents do not need permission from an absent parent if they are not on the child's birth certificate.

However if an absent parent has passed away you may be required to show their death certificate.

In the event an absent parent does not consent you to take the child out of the country you will need to go to court to try and resolve the matter.

For more details about seeking permission to take children abroad, visit the government website here.

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