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My ex wants to take our child on holiday

Holidays are often seen as a treat, and something to look forward to, but, sometimes, one parent taking a child on holiday can cause disagreements between separated parents.

Ideally, when parents have separated, they make decisions between them as to arrangements for a child, including where they live, who they spend time with and, also, holidays. If an agreement cannot reached between them, parents can try mediation, speak to solicitors, or, as a last resort, refer the matter to Court.

I want to take my child on holiday in England and Wales?

If a parent wants to take a child on a holiday in England and Wales, they are able to do so, providing that there isn’t an Order made by the Court preventing them from doing so. If a child usually spends time with the other parent when the holiday is due to take place, an option is to ‘make up’ the missed contact.

I want to take my child abroad

If there is a Child Arrangements Order (to live with) in force in favour of the person wanting to take the child on holiday, then they can do so, even without the other parents’ permission, for up to a month at a time, unless the Order says otherwise. Anyone else with parental responsibility will need the permission of everyone else with parental responsibility, or an Order of the court.

If there is not a Child Arrangements Order (to live with) in force, and parents share parental responsibility, if one parent wants to take a child on holiday abroad, they need the other parents’ permission to take the child. If they don’t get the other parents’ permission, it is considered child abduction, which is a criminal offence.

I don’t agree to my ex taking my child on holiday – what can I do?

When a parent doesn’t agree to a holiday abroad, and they are worried the other parent is going to take them without their permission, they can make an application to Court for a Prohibited Steps Order, which, if made, can prevent the parent from taking them. If a parent objects to a holiday they will need to say why.

If the parent who wishes to take the child abroad knows the other parent objects, they should make an application for a Specific Issue Order to give them the authority to remove the child from the country for the duration of the proposed holiday, rather than forcing the other parent to make an application for a Prohibited Steps Order. If a parent wants to take a child on holiday they will often need to provide specific information about the holiday including, but not limited to, the location the child will be staying, flight details and contact details.

What will the Court look at when deciding whether my child should be able to go on holiday?

When deciding whether an Order in relation to a holiday is made, the court will consider what is in the child’s best interests and the child’s welfare will be their paramount consideration so, when thinking about whether to give consent to the holiday, it is important to put the child at the forefront of your mind and think “what is best for them”?

Court proceedings can be costly, lengthy, and can create animosity between separated parents, so, if possible, try to reach an agreement with the other parent outside of Court.

Contact us

If you are unable to reach an agreement with the other parent on your own, the family law team at David Gray Solicitors LLP can provide you with advice on your options. Issues relating to a child going on holiday can sometimes be complex, so it is important to get advice as soon as possible. Legal Aid is sometimes available in family cases about holidays, and our friendly team will be happy to assess your eligibility.

Call Louise on 0191 243 8163 to arrange an appointment.

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