The problems faced when Parents have a different surname to their Children

by Slater & Gordon Lawyers on July 31, 2013

The Daily Mail yesterday reported on the case of Colette Mackintosh, who when returning from a family holiday, was left stunned when UK border officials quizzed her children about whether they had been Abducted, because they have a different surname.

In Mrs Mackintosh’s case, their passport details differ because she changed her name following her remarriage last year, but this may not always be the case.

Reports suggest that more than 90 per cent of women worldwide shed their family surname in favour of their husband’s, when they get married. But new research shows that young British brides are refusing to follow suit, with a third of married women in their twenties having kept their maiden name.

In addition we have recently reported on the increase in Children being born to unmarried parents, which could also result in the mother and child having different surnames. The advice of the Border Agency is that travellers with children should always carry evidence of their relationship with a child, if the surnames differ. Mrs Mackintosh now travels with her marriage certificate and a letter from the children’s father, giving her permission to travel across borders with them.

With the shape of society an ever changing landscape, and the summer holidays now upon us, parents who fall into one of the above categories, should be encouraged to follow the advice given and ensure that evidence of their relationship with the child, is carried when travelling.

If you are in any doubt, you are advised to seek the advice of a family solicitor.

By Family Law Solicitor Helen Maguire

For more information on our Family Law services, please email us at or call us on 0800 916 9055.

Slater & Gordon Lawyers
Slater & Gordon Lawyers are a national law firm in the UK delivering exceptional, affordable legal advice across a broad spectrum of areas including personal injury, employment law and family law.
Slater & Gordon Lawyers

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