Can I take my children on holiday?
The time of year we have all been waiting for, holiday seasons will soon be upon us. However for separated partners there is a sense of uncertainty, can I take my children on holiday without the other parent?
The first thing you need to note is that before taking your child on holiday, you should obtain permission from anyone who has parental responsibility.
What is parental responsibility?
All biological mothers have parental responsibility for their children. A father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the child’s mother, or named on the birth certificate (after 1 December 2003), or if you have been granted parental responsibility by the Court by way of a Court Order.
How to get permission?
If you are amicable with the other parent, a letter from them confirming their permission will suffice. You may be asked to produce this in the UK or at the foreign border.
I can’t get permission
If you are not on good terms with the other parent, they may refuse permission for you to take the child on holiday. In this case, you are able to make an application to the Court for a Specific Issue Order, and the Court will deal with the specific issue of the holiday.
The Judge will most likely want to hear from both parties, and in particular the parent refusing the holiday. The Judge will want to know the reasons as to the refusal. If the Judge considers that the other parent is simply doing it without good reason, then the Order will most likely be granted and permission from the other parent will no longer be needed as you will have a Court Order granting you permission. The Judge will also want details of holiday, where you will be staying and how long you are going for.
The Court does generally consider a holiday to be beneficial for a child and therefore will only refuse such an application if it has strong suspicions to believe that the parent will not return to the UK following the holiday.
I have a Child Arrangement Order
If you have a child arrangement order to say that the child is to live with you, then you are able to take the child out of the country for a period of 28 days without permission from the other parent. If you do however wish to go on holiday for a longer period of time, then you must seek permission.
Finally ….don’t forget to enjoy the holiday.
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