Gaining permission for taking your child on holiday - post separation

Gaining permission for taking your child on holiday - post separation

05 March 2018 Alisah Iqbal

Post-separation family holiday - what you need to consider

If you have recently separated from your partner who also has parental responsibility for the children, you may find your ex-partner refusing to allow you to take the children on holiday outside of the jurisdiction of England and Wales. In such situations you will require permission from the Court to take your children on holiday otherwise the travel may be considered child abduction.

What will the courts consider?

The Court’s paramount consideration will be the welfare of the children. The Court will assess your efforts to ensure the children are returned to the country and the security you are willing to provide to effect that.

The country selected for the holiday will have an impact on how easily the Court can grant you permission to leave. The Court is more likely to grant permission if the country chosen for the holiday is signatory to the Hague Convention. The Convention provides security for the return of children who are wrongfully removed or retained in States signatory to the Hague Convention.

A list of countries signatory to the Hague Convention can be found here.

Non-Hague Country destination

Where the country selected is not signatory to the Hague Convention and your ex-partner is concerned about the return of the children, the Court may require you to provide security to ensure the safe return of the children. Examples of the security the Courts may ask you for are as follows:

  • Give undertakings breach of which is punishable by imprisonment
  • Obtain ‘mirror orders’ in the other jurisdiction
  • Swear an oath on a relevant holy book
  • Lodge a financial bond

In some cases, a non-molestation order could be granted to protect against the possibility of child abduction. However, usually the above-mentioned measures are sufficient.

If you have any questions about any issue involving arrangements of holidays, please do get in touch with a member of Neves’ Family department.