As we enter in to holiday season you may be looking to jet off on a getaway with the family to enjoy some summer sunshine. If you are planning a summer holiday with your child but you are separated from your child’s other parent, there are some things to think about in advance:
- It is reasonable to tell your child’s other parent where and when you are travelling (whether that is within the United Kingdom or abroad) and to provide them with an itinerary including all of the important details such as flight times, your accommodation and who else is going on the holiday. You should request the same information about any holidays they have planned too.
- Agree in advance how and when you are going to get the child’s passport (if needed) from the other parent so you don’t have any last minute issues. You may also need to discuss applying for a passport or about getting one renewed that may be out of date.
- Plan how, and how often, your child will speak with their other parent while they are on holiday with you. Do they have a mobile phone or other device that they can use as and when they wish, or do you need to agree fixed days or times before you travel? Agreeing the details around this should help minimise the risks of any arguments and also give the other parent peace of mind.
- If you want to take your child abroad you will need the consent of the other parent. It is sensible to get that consent in writing and carry it with you on your trip, along with a copy of your child’s birth certificate. You should ask for the other parent’s consent well in advance of your trip to give time for any discussion. It is also better to agree the arrangements with the other parent before telling your child about the holiday. You want your child to look forward to the trip and to speak about it openly with both parents, and to know that it is definitely going ahead before they start to get excited. 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.
- If the other parent refuses to consent to the holiday, then Mediation might be a good option to “sit down” with the other parent to discuss why and to try and reach agreement. You can read more about mediation here. If the other parent is still refusing to consent to the holiday, you can ask the Court to authorise the trip. A Court application takes some time to organise and comes with an associated cost and stress, so advice should be taken from a family lawyer as soon as possible.
- If you take your child abroad without their other parents’ consent, or knowing that they do not consent to the trip, they could raise a Court action ordering their return. If you have concerns that your child’s other parent is taking them abroad without your consent, you can raise a Court action to prevent the trip.
If you are planning a summer holiday and have any concerns about getting consent from your children’s other parent, get in touch with our team.
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