I am often approached by separated parents with problems arising when one parent wants to take children abroad on holiday.
By following a few straightforward “rules” many of the problems that we see - and have to resolve last minute - can be avoided.
Plan well in advance:
Parents often agree an annual schedule so everyone, including the children, know exactly what is to happen and when they are with each parent. It may seem ‘over the top’ to make out such a schedule but this allows holidays to be booked in confidence knowing there will not be any difficulties.
Provide the requisite information to each other:
It is common practice to provide the address of the holiday destination, a landline telephone number at that destination, flight or ferry details out and inbound to the other parent prior to travel. Provide this information as early as you know it.
Obtain written consent to travel:
The border agencies are becoming more vigilant with single parents travelling with children, or children travelling with an adult whose surname is different (this can apply even if you are merely taking a friend’s child on holiday with you). If you are travelling outside of England and Wales you should be holding written consent to travel from the other parent. To take a child abroad without the consent of the other parent can amount to the criminal offence of child abduction!
Make early arrangements to hand over the children’s passports to avoid problems - and ensure someone has checked they are in date!
Holidays can put added stress upon separated parents who remain in dispute. Mediation may be able to help ease concerns or issues arising but if a court application looks inevitable to resolve holiday problems, be aware that the court is not accessible at a moment’s notice. Any application usually needs to be made at least 6 weeks prior to travel.
All initial appointments are at no charge and at your convenience.
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