Divorce, children and holidays


It’s the time of year again when everyone seems to be asking, ‘Where are you going on holiday?’ and somehow expecting things to already be decided and booked.

But if you are going through a separation or divorce and emotions are still running high, you may be afraid to broach the subject of taking the children away in case the other parent threatens to stop you taking the children on holiday.

Strictly, you should obtain the consent of everyone with parental responsibility for the child before taking them out of England and Wales. There is no requirement as to how this consent is to be shown and so it could be that simply not applying to court to stop the holiday is deemed consent. If you are considering taking children out of the county with your ex-partners consent it is best to obtain a letter from the other parent agreeing to the holiday, if possible to avoid potential problems at passport control.

A parent who really wants to stop the other parent (who has the children’s passports) from taking the children abroad, they will need to obtain a ‘prohibited steps order’ from the court.  The court will be particularly interested in whether the holidaying parent and children will return to the UK after the holiday or stay abroad. The court will want to know about any family ties or property in the intended destination or any reason to suspect that the parent intends to stay abroad with the children.

In the same way, if the holidaying parent can produce good evidence, for example, return tickets and information as to a destination addresses etc, the court is more likely to accept that this is simply a genuine holiday and it would benefit the children to be allowed to go.

If you have a residence order or chid arrangements order stating that the child is to live with you, you can take them out of England and Wales for up to 28 days without the permission of anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child, so long as there is no prohibited steps order preventing this.

If you are faced with this situation, we are here to help, so do get in touch.



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Julian Taylor
Consultant Solicitor

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