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Separated Parent - Can I take my child on Holiday?

View profile for Andrew Stynes
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As Family Lawyers this is a question we are often asked by clients, it is, not as simple as a yes or no. A simple answer would, unhelpfully, be “it depends”.

The first question would be, what is the destination of your planned holiday? In the event that the planned holiday is within this country then, usually, there is no problem. In the event the holiday is abroad then certain rules apply.

In order to take a child abroad you must obtain the permission of somebody with parental responsibility. A child’s mother would have parental responsibility and a child’s father would have parental responsibility if he was married to the child’s mother or his name appeared on the child’s birth certificate as father. If you have parental responsibility you can take a child abroad, but you must have the permission of anybody else who has parental responsibility for the child. It is possible that you would be asked to provide evidence of such consent in the form of a letter at a UK or any Foreign border, the letter should include the other persons contact details and details about the trip. It often helps that you have evidence of your relationship to the child eg, birth certificate or adoption certificate and this can be particularly relevant if you are a single parent but your family name is different from the child in which case it would be worth having the divorce or marriage certificate as appropriate.

In the event that matters have been before the court before and there is a Child Arrangements Order (formerly a contact or residence order) in place then anybody who is named as the person whom the child should be living can take the child abroad for up to 28 days without the permission of anybody else. Family Solicitor Andrew Stynes says, “If the permission of the other party is required and they refuse to give it an application can be made to the court for permission to take the child abroad but such an application would need to be made in good time in preparation for the trip.”

We have offices in Christchurch and the New Forest. Our Family team also cover Bournemouth and Poole. For a free initial chat, please call 01202 499255 and Andy or a member of the team will be happy to discuss any questions that you may have.