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Can I Take My Child Abroad On Holiday Without the Father’s Consent?

Posted on June 28th 2017

With the summer holidays approaching lots of parents plan to take their children abroad. But can you take your child on holiday without the other parent’s consent?

Unfortunately, many parents are unaware that, generally, it is a criminal offence to take their child out of England and Wales without the permission of every person who has parental responsibility for the child.

However, there is an exception to this:

You do not have to get permission if a ‘Child Arrangements Order’ has been put in place by the courts. This states who the child lives with and spends time with. In these circumstances, a parent may take the child abroad for up to 4 weeks without the other parent’s permission. However, this is only true if you are not breaching the court order in respect of contact arrangements to the other parent by doing so.

If you intend to travel for longer than 28 days then the permission of everyone with parental responsibility is required. Alternatively, you may need permission from the court.

I do not have a Child Arrangements Order or the other parent’s consent – How can I still take my child on holiday?

An application for a Specific Issue Order would need to be made to the court to request permission to take your child on holiday.

The other parent wants to take my child on holiday without my permission – How can I prevent this from happening?

You can apply to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order. This may prevent your ex-partner from taking your child on holiday without your permission.

General Advice:

It is important that parents use their common sense in respect to such matters. Generally, holidays benefit children and enable them to spend quality time with their parents. Refusing this may be considered unreasonable. This is unless it is going to have a detrimental effect on the child’s education or well-being, which is the main priority.

Issuing court proceedings should always be a last resort as they are costly and time consuming. Discussing it with the other parent and trying to agree a compromise would be much better for all concerned. In particular, it would be better for the children.

If any of these issues affect you, please contact our experienced family solicitors at Oliver & Co. We offer free initial advice and can help you make the right decision. Call us on 01244 312306, or fill in our contact form.

Call and speak to a lawyer on 01244 312306