Can I take my child on holiday if the other parent does not agree?
It is a common that we are asked to advise upon circumstances when parents are separated and one parent wishes to take their children abroad, but the other parent does not agree with this. As to whether or not a parent is able to take their child abroad without the other parents consent will depend on the circumstances in question. Here, we examine the most common circumstances:
Does the other parent have Parental Responsibility?
In deciding whether you need the other parents permission to take a child abroad, the key factor is parental responsibility.
All mothers automatically hold parental responsibility for their child. However a father will only have Parental Responsibility if:
- He was married to the mother at the time of the child''s birth or after,or
- His name is on the birth certificate,or
- A Parental Responsibility order has been granted by the court, or
- The father has a Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother.
If the other parent does not have parental responsibility, no consent is needed to take the child abroad.
If both parents have parental responsibility and there is no Child Arrangements Order in place providing for where the child lives, both parents will need to consent to take the child abroad.
What if there is a Child Arrangements Order in existence?
If there is a Child Arrangements Order in place which state that the child is to live with a parent, then that parent may take the child abroad for up to 28 days without having to obtain the other parents consent. However, the holiday abroad should not breach the terms of any order in place regarding the child spending time with the other parent.
What if there is a Special Guardianship Order in existence?
Where a Special Guardianship Order is in force, a Special Guardian may remove the child from the jurisdiction for up to three months without the consent of any other person with parental responsbility, e.g a parent.
Can a Father take a child on holiday abroad?
If the child's mother consents to this and there is no other person with parental responsbility (apart from the child's parents) then, yes they can. If there is a Child Arrangements Order providing for the child to live with the father, no consent is needed from the mother as long as the holiday abroad is for up to 28 days.
If a child's mother does not consent to the trip abroad and there is no Child Arrangements Order providing for the child to live with the father, the father will need to make an application to the Court for a Specific Issue Order to enable him to take the child abroad.
Can I stop my ex partner taking our child abroad?
If you are a parent and have concerns about your child's mother or father taking your child abroad, you are able to make an application to the Court for a Prohibited Steps Order. The Court will consider whether the holiday is in the best interests of the child.
Can I take my child on holiday in the UK without my ex's consent?
Consent is not required if the holiday falls within already agreed contact arrangements. However, if the proposed holiday is not within your agreed contact schedule, you will need consent from your ex partner to change your contact schedule. If your ex does not agree to change the schedule, you can apply for a Court order.
If you require advice following a disagreement with your ex partner regarding holiday arrangements for your child, please get in touch with one of our specialist family law experts by calling 0113 2446978 or use the contact form below to arrange a free consultation.