Summer is here and the school holidays start within the next few weeks. No doubt many parents will have plans to take the children abroad on holiday during the summer months. However, if you are separated from your child’s other parent, you must be aware of the necessity to obtain permission from the other parent.
If both parents have Parental Responsibility and there are no Orders or restrictions in place, neither can take the children abroad without the consent of the other parent. If consent is refused, an application to the Court will need to be made well ahead of the planned trip.
If only the mother has Parental Responsibility, she does not need to seek the consent of the father.
A parent with a Residence Order or a Child Arrangements Order in their favour can take the children abroad for up to a month without the consent of the other parent.
If the children are to go abroad with grandparents or other family members, consent will need to be obtained from both parents with Parental Responsibility.
Whether permission is required or not, or whether the Court grants permission, it is advisable for the parent taking the children on holiday to provide the other parent with flight details, information about where they will be staying and contact numbers. A short text upon arrival will also provide the parent back home with peace of mind that their children have arrived safely.
If the children are to go abroad for a long time, i.e. more than a month, written permission is required and in some cases a Court Order. This will avoid accusations of child abduction and may be required when obtaining a VISA.
If you are planning a holiday or a longer trip and need to seek permission, do so early, as if you need to involve the Court, it is not a quick process.