As many parents will be aware, the long school summer holidays are fast approaching and for many separating parents, the summer holidays can be a difficult, stressful, and highly emotive time. In particular, it can be stressful for separating parents if one parent is planning to take the children abroad. It can be confusing to know what your rights are within that regard, and what you can do if you want to take the children abroad, or what you can do to stop your ex-partner taking the children abroad.
If your ex-partner is planning to take your children abroad, then you must have your ex-partner’s permission before doing so, and vice versa. Permission would only be needed if your ex-partner has parental responsibility for the children. If you are the mother of the children, then you automatically have parental responsibility. However, if you are a father, then you only have parental responsibility if you are named on the birth certificate or if it has been granted by way of a court order or you have entered into a Parental Responsibility Agreement.
If both parents share parental responsibility for the children, then permission must be obtained to take them abroad. There is one exception to this which is where there is a Child Arrangements Order in place which states that the children must live with that particular named parent. In this instance, the residing parent can take the child abroad for a period of up to a month without the permission of the other. If you wanted to take the children abroad for longer than a month, then you would need permission of the other parent for the children.
If the above does not apply and there is no Child Arrangements Order in place, then you must have the permission of the other parent with parental responsibility for the children before taking them abroad. This permission could be obtained directly from your ex-partner, or through negotiations between solicitors. If your ex-partner is not giving permission for you to take the children abroad and you need advice regarding the same, please contact the office on 02920 197203 to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced solicitors.