Do I need to give the co-parent details of my holiday with the children?

Travelling with children is stressful at the best of times, even more so if you are separated from the other parent of your children when it comes to making the arrangements. So don’t make your holiday experience more tense by arguing over the booking with your ex. Aim to reduce the tension by following the advice in this article.

If you have concerns about your children and an upcoming holiday and you feel you need legal advice, contact specialist family lawyer Helen Miller of Stowe Family Law. She is an exceptionally skilled family law expert with over 20 years’ experience, and Managing Partner at this well known specialist family law firm.

Do I need my ex’s consent to take our children abroad?

You will need to obtain the other parent’s permission to take the children abroad for a holiday in most circumstances. The only exceptions to this rule are:

  • The other parent does not have parental responsibility for the children
  • There is a court order stating that the child is to live with you, in which case you can take them abroad for a holiday of up to one month without obtaining the other parent’s consent.
  • There is a court order specifically stating you can take your child abroad
  • If the holiday falls within already agreed contact arrangements and you have parental responsibility for the children.

If the proposed break is not within an agreed contact schedule, you will need consent from your ex to change it. If your ex does not agree to alter the schedule, you can apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order, where the court will consider, amongst other things, what is in the best interest of the child.

What information do I need to give my ex when taking the children on holiday?

You should provide your ex with full details of the trip; this includes flight details, destination address and emergency contact details. Although you may view this as an attack on your parental rights and privacy, you would probably like to have similar information to hand if the situation was reversed.


Can my ex stop me taking our children abroad?

If the other parent has concerns about you taking the children out of the country, they can make an application to court for a Prohibited Steps Order. The court will look at things such as whether the holiday is in the best interests of the child. Their welfare will also be of paramount consideration; so when thinking about whether to give consent to the holiday, your ex should put the child at the forefront of their mind and ask themselves “what is best for them?”

Court proceedings can be long and costly and create further animosity between you and your ex. So, if possible, it is always best to try to reach an agreement with them before court proceedings are started.

Tips for taking children on holiday and what to tell your ex

If you want to take your children away for a holiday, it is always best to deal with any potential issues well in advance of the trip because getting a court order can take many months. Here are some tips to make the ordeal of talking to your ex run more smoothly:

  • As soon as you start planning the holiday, contact your ex and give them as many details as possible, including dates, where you plan to stay and a contact number. Also include flight and booking details if/when these are known.
  • If you are going abroad and your ex has the children’s passports, ask for confirmation that they will hand them over at least 14 days before the planned departure. You may also need to ask for the passport numbers when booking the holiday.
  • Get your ex’s consent in writing and take this on holiday with you as part of your essential travel documents. You may need to show this to customs officials.

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