Families looking to apply for their children’s passports are being told not to delay the process if their parents are no longer together.
Experts have reportedly said that new passport applications have hit a record high, meaning anyone wanting to jet off on holidays this summer should hurry up to apply in case of long waiting times.
Parents are also being warned that if they're no longer together, they must still be named on their child’s passport – if you are not able to do this then you must provide an explanation.
The gov.uk website stated: “You apply for a child passport if your child is under 16. It costs £49 to apply online and £58.50 to apply with a paper form from the Post Office. A child passport is valid for five years.
“Someone with parental responsibility for the child must apply for the passport.
“You need to give both parents’ details when you apply. If you cannot provide the other parent’s details, you need to say why (for example, you’re the only parent named on the birth certificate or you adopted the child on your own).”
It seems that charity the National Family Mediation (NFM) has aided over 150 couples recency who disagreed over their kids’ passports.
And, it’s thought that a backlog of applications is filling up thanks to the surge of renewals and people wanting their child’s first passport in time for the holidays.
The UK Passport Office has advised that the process could take 10 weeks to complete, reports the Sun.
CEO of NFM, Jane Robey, said that parents who are not together should be careful when it comes to planning holidays.
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.”
Ahead of summer, more people are likely to send off for passports so the wait may increase.
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Jane 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 your 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."
Couples can apply for a Family Mediation Voucher Scheme worth £500 or apply for legal aid.
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Parents travelling with children when the other parent is not present should bring proof of permission to the airport ahead of leaving the country.
If one parent refuses to give permission you can request it through court.
Parents with a different surname to their children will often need to take further documents with them like birth certificates or adoption certificates to prove their relation.
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