Holidays abroad

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Most parents assume that they don’t need their ex's agreement to take their child abroad on holiday. However, the law says that unless you have a court order in place (and most don't), then you need the other parent's agreement to take the child overseas.

Before travelling, you must either get the permission of everyone with parental responsibility for your child that you can take your child on holiday or you need to get a court order allowing you to take your child abroad.

You automatically have parental responsibility if you’re the child’s mother, but you still need the permission of anyone else with parental responsibility before you can travel. If you don't do this, the worst case scenario is that not only will you be prevented from taking your child on holiday but you may be accused of trying to ‘’kidnap’’ your child which is a serious criminal offence.

A letter from the person (or people) with parental responsibility for your child is usually enough to show you’ve got permission to take them abroad. 

If you can't get permission from the other people with parental responsibility you will need to apply to the court for an order. And if you find yourself being asked by your ex to agree to your child going on holiday, remember that you should not withhold your agreement unreasonably.

Our specialist children lawyers have years of experience dealing with disputes involving children. We are known for successfully dealing with cases where there is a high degree of parental conflict and where there is an international dimension.  Whether it is:

  • pre-empting problems  involving holidays and ensuring they are avoided in the first place
  • supporting parents in mediation, helping them to resolve issues themselves about holidays
  • making an urgent application for a court order
This vlog considers the circumstances in which a parent can take a child on holiday abroad (out of the jurisdiction of England & Wales) with and without the permission of the other parent.
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