Hi, I have a friend who is separated with his wife, and has 2 kids. Is it possible for the mother to take the kids out of the country away from their father? The kids follow their dad’s last name. The mother needs to seek consent from the biological father in order to do that right? Thank you and hoping for your quick response.
Generally, the rule is minor children (below the age of 18) cannot leave the country unaccompanied by a parent (father or mother). See also DSWD rules on Travel Clearance for Minors. Click here to get the DSWD Travel Consent Form if your child needs it to leave the country.
Assuming that the father has a custody agreement or court order that prohibits the mother from taking the children out of the country without his consent, she can still succeed in bringing the children out of the country unless a hold departure order is issued and brought to the attention of immigration officers at the port of departure. It is the father’s duty to inform the Bureau of Immigration of such hold order so that Immigration can put the children’s names on a watch list.
From experience, Immigration officers usually question situations when the minor children are accompanied by an adult who does not appear to be the parent, such as, when the mom’s passport does not bear the same surname of the children; otherwise, she is usually granted passage with the children.
What is the father’s recourse? If he fears that the mother plans to alienate him from the children and has no intention to let them return to the Philippines, then he must consult a lawyer who can recommend and take the appropriate legal action in court. I hope this helps.