Thursday, January 20, 2022

Can I Take My Child On Holiday Without the Fathers Permission?

Divorce definitely makes things complicated, especially when it comes to parenting. And when you just need a break from the stress, want to take a vacation, guess what? Even then it isn't simple. Because if you have children, it's not so simple to just take them on a holiday. When I took my kids on a trip to Bulgaria, fortunately, my ex didn't make trouble and came to the government office in charge of distributing passports to enable my children to get passports and travel with me abroad. But if your ex isn't so cooperative, is there any way to take your kids on vacation? Yes, there is. Here is some more information on the legalities of it in the UK but in most countries there are similar rules.

Nothing is stopping you from taking your child on holiday within England and Wales without first asking the permission of your ex-partner with joint parental responsibility unless there is a court order in place preventing you from doing this.

If there are any Child Arrangement Orders in place, you should be fine as long as these are adhered to. This could mean that your ex-partner comes to visit your child while you are on holiday, or you can agree to an alternative arrangement where they have extra access once you return from holiday to make up for the lost contact time.

  What is Parental Responsibility?

As set out in government legislation in The Children Act 1989, parental responsibility is defined as ‘all rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority, which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property’.

For example, if your ex-partner is named as the father on your child's birth certificate, then your ex-partner will have automatic Parental Responsibility (PR) for your child. PR gives them the right to be involved in major decisions concerning arrangements for their child.

It could be tricky to communicate with your ex-partner if you separated on bad terms. Still, the law assumes you will both continue to make joint decisions about your children even after a separation or divorce.

But having PR doesn't mean that one parent can overrule the other. So when it comes to taking holidays, it is always good to keep the other parent informed of your plans out of respect for their visitation rights and maintaining a good relationship with their child.

Holidays Outside of England and Wales

While taking a break in the UK doesn't need permission from the other parent, if you are thinking of taking your child on holiday overseas, you will need permission from your ex-partner or the Court if your ex-partner objects.

Being able to take your child on holiday abroad will depend on whether or not you have a Child Arrangements Order granted by the Court. This means that if your child is to live with you following a divorce, you are entitled to take your child out of the country for 28 days without the other parent's consent with parental responsibility.

However, there is an exception to this where a Prohibited Steps Order is in place, which prevents you from taking your child out of the country.

What parental permission do I need?

If you are separated or divorced and want to take a two-week break abroad with your child, but your child has a different surname to you, you may wonder what you should do to make travelling easier.

It can help to take a copy of your child's birth certificate with you, but you need to get consent from your ex-partner in the form of a written letter of permission to help clear up any misunderstanding at customs.

A simple letter from your ex-partner agreeing to the holiday will usually be enough proof that you have permission to take your child overseas. If your ex-partner is unwilling to help, then you could apply for a court order to get permission to go on holiday abroad.

However, family courts now encourage parents to reach an amicable agreement. They will advise that you have a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before an application to Court can be made.

You can always take advice from a family lawyer if you are unsure about your rights as a parent when wanting to take your child out of the country.

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