It is not uncommon for parents during the school holidays to plan trips abroad. However, for those who have separated from their partner, they may not be aware that in the absence of a Court Order, permission is needed. Permission is only required if the other parent holds parental responsibility and only if a Live with Order is not in place. This Order simply states who the child lives with, but means that the parent who holds the same can take the child out of the country for up to 28 days without the permission of the other. However, if you ignore what the law says and remove without permission you could be charged with Child Abduction and find yourself before the criminal courts.

To further complicate matters, if the parent and the child have different surnames this can pose difficulties when accessing another country. I always advise my clients to have a copy of the child’s Birth Certificate and to have something in writing from their ex-partner to give permission for that trip. Having a couple of pieces of paper with you can avoid a long wait at immigration and you can then get on with enjoying your holiday.

There of course are times when the absent parent will not agree. However, do not dismay, the Court can hear applications to obtain permission in lieu of the absent parent, known as an Application for a Specific Issue Order. Ultimately, what needs to be shown, is that the same is going to be beneficial to the child. You won’t be surprised to hear that it is not uncommon for the court to grant such permission. That being said, I would always prompt a parent to obtain advice at an early stage to ensure that you and your children can enjoy your holiday.