I want to take my child abroad on holiday. Do I have to get my ex’s permission?

Do I need permission from my ex to take our child abroad?

The weather is starting to heat up and we’re edging towards the summer months. Many of us will be dreaming of hotter climes and thinking of taking our children away abroad for a week in the sun.

But if you are separated from your children’s other parent, then you may be unsure if you need to seek their permission before you can take your child on holiday.

Do I need to get permission from my ex to take them on holiday abroad?

If you are the mother of the child then you automatically have parental responsibility. However, you will also need to seek permission from anyone and everyone who also has parental responsibility over your child.  If you do not and take your child abroad without this permission, it could be seen as child abduction.

You are able to take your child away for up to 28 days abroad, if you have a child arrangement order in place that states that your child must live with you. This will be recorded on the order.

What evidence do I need to take my child out of the country?

If you have an order that you child lives with you, then it is helpful to take evidence that you have permission from anyone else with parental responsibility with you when you take your child abroad. This is important as you may need to provide it at UK or foreign borders. Usually a written letter from your ex and anyone else who has parental responsibility to your child stating they give you permission to take your child on holiday. This letter should also include the other person’s contact details in case they are needed to confirm at a border that you do in fact have their permission.

It is also helpful to have some proof that they are your child. This can be a birth certificate or a certificate of adoption particularly if you have a different surname to your child.

You should also check with your airline and some have specific and additional requirements when an adult is travelling alone with a child.

If we sort out arrangements ourselves outside of the court

If you have no official court agreement, then you will need to sort out arrangements between yourself and your ex. It is advisable that you discuss your plans and come to an agreement about how long you will take your child away for and when you will be back. As long as you have and maintain good communication with your ex whilst you are away then you should  run into little difficulty.If your child is used to speaking to your ex every night, then it would be a good idea to maintain that whilst you are away, as opposed to your child having a solid week without contact with their other parent.

Taking children abroad on holiday

Getting permission from the court

If you are unable to get permission from the other people who hold parental responsibility over your child, then you will need to seek permission from the court. You will need to provide the court with some details including:

  • Date of departure
  • When & how you will return
  • Contact details of those holding parental responsibility staying in the UK

It would be unusual for a court not to grant leave for you to take your child on holiday in normal circumstances however, if you are taking your child abroad for a longer period of time, then you will need to supply further information including what education they will get whilst abroad.

If you are unsure?

If you are unsure where you stand and you would like further advice, then please feel free to get in touch and we will advise you on your specific situation. We offer a 20-minute free initial consultation, so call and speak to one of our specialist law team who will be happy to assist you further on  0800 614 722 or visit www.birchallblackburn.co.uk 

For more information on our family law services, please visit our pages here.

Government website: https://www.gov.uk/permission-take-child-abroad