The sun is shining and the school summer holidays are just round the corner. Here are our top tips for any separated parent planning a summer trip:-
- If you want to take the children abroad you need the consent of the other parent. It is a criminal offence to remove a child from the UK without this. Consent is not needed for a UK trip.
- It is sensible to get the consent in writing and carry the letter with you, along with a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
- It is reasonable to tell the other parent where and when you are travelling and provide an itinerary including flight times, the accommodation details and a note of who else is going on the holiday, and to request the same information in return about their holiday.
- Ask for consent well in advance and be reasonable about approving the other parent’s holiday plans. If you are fair with them, they are more likely to be fair with you. It’s also better to agree the arrangements with the other parent before telling the child about the holiday. You want the child to look forward to their trip and to speak about it openly, not to equate holidays with arguments between their parents.
- If the other parent refuses to consent then you can ask the Court to authorise the trip. However, a Court application takes some time to organise and comes with an associated cost and level of stress. If the trip is approved by the Court the other parent could well be ordered to contribute to your Court costs.
- Agree in advance with the other parent how and when you are going to get the child’s passport so you don’t have any last minute issues.
- Plan how, and how often, the child will speak with the other parent while they are away. That should help to minimise the risks of any arguments tarnishing the child’s trip.