With everyone preparing to go back to school, it has become apparent that parents are still unclear on the law regarding holidays abroad. More and more parents are taking their children out of the country without the agreement or consent of the other parent with Parental Responsibility and incorrectly believe that they do not need that consent.
The law states that it is an offence to remove a child from the United Kingdom without the consent of:
- any parent who has Parental Responsibility;
- the child’s guardian;
- anyone who has a residence order providing it is in favour of the child living with them;
- anyone who has a child arrangements order providing it is in favour of the child living with them.
If the Court has made an order that determines who a child should live with, then that person can remove the child from the country. However, this is only for up to one month before consent from other parents with Parental Responsibility becomes a necessity.
What if a parent seeks consent to take the child abroad and the consent is refused?
Then it will be necessary to consider applying to the Court for them to determine whether the holiday ought to go ahead. This is called a Specific Issue Order.
In determining whether a parent ought to be allowed to take the child out of the country, the Court will consider a number of factors. It is helpful to assist the Court by providing full details of the holiday. You should include dates, flight and hotel information. In addition, the Court will usually be keen to ensure that any proposed holiday will not be during school term time. To read more on this please see our blog Parental Responsibility: The Consequences of Truancy.
If you wish to take your child abroad and consent has been refused or you have fears that your child has been taken abroad without your knowledge then you should act fast and seek immediate legal advice from an expert on children issues, often referred to as child custody laws.
Joanne Green is a Family Law Solicitor with expertise in children matters at Slater and Gordon lawyers in Milton Keynes.
For a fixed fee appointment with one of our family law specialists or to obtain advice in relation to children matters, relationship breakdown or general family law advice, call Slater and Gordon Lawyers on 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.