My husband and I are separated, and he is refusing to let me holiday with my children, what are my rights?

Do I need to obtain permission from my ex to take our children away on holiday?

A mother automatically has Parental Responsibility for a child. However, separated parents holiday rights must be understood by both parties as you will need the permission of any others with Parental Responsibility before you take a child abroad. If a father wants to take the child on holiday, then he will need the permission of the mother.

The situation is a little different if you have a Child Arrangements Order specifying that your child is living with you or a Residence Order in place. In that case, you can take the children out of the country for up to 28 days, without permission, unless the order says you cannot.

If the mother alone has Parental Responsibility and there are no orders in place then permission is not needed from anyone else. However, it is a good idea to speak to the other parent and reach agreement. A father can apply for Parental Responsibility, and then object to the holiday.

What if my husband or wife refuses to let me take my children away on holiday?

If the other parent does not grant permission for you to take your children on holiday then you will need to ask permission of the court.

What are the legal implications of taking children abroad if you are separated?

If you take children out of England and Wales without permission of the people who have Parental Responsibility for the children, then you will be committing a Child Abduction offence.

Separated parents holiday rights: Is there anything else I should do to prepare for the trip?

It is helpful if you take a letter from anyone else with Parental Responsibility with you when you travel. The letter should include the other person’s contact information and confirmation along with details about the holiday.

If possible you should try and communicate with the other parent. If they do not want the child to go on holiday they can object and apply to the Court to prevent you from taking the trip. Equally, you could also apply to the Court to obtain permission to take the children on holiday.

If grandparents or other family members want to take the children on holiday then permission from all those with Parental Responsibility will be required.

Is permission required if the holiday is in the UK?

You will need permission if you would like to take the children out of England and Wales – to Scotland for example. If you would like to take the children on holiday within England and Wales, then you do not require permission, unless there is a Court order in place stating that contact should take place at a certain time, or a certain number of times a week and the holiday will impact on this. In any event, it is a good idea to inform the other parent of your intention to take the child on holiday, even if not abroad.

If you have any questions about separated parents holiday rights and taking your children on holiday, or if you would like to discuss your child being taken on a holiday by somebody else contact Hepburn Delaney today.