Taking your children on holiday

Taking your children on holiday


A question we often get asked, particularly when school holidays are fast approaching, is whether permission or consent of the other parent, or any other adult with parental responsibility for the child, is require in order to take the child abroad or on holiday outside of England and Wales.

If you wish to take a child outside of England and Wales, then you still need the permission of anyone else with parental responsibility before you do so.

A written letter from the other adult/s with parental responsibility for the child is usually enough to show you have permission to take them outside of England or Wales. This letter should include the other adult’s contact details as well as details about the trip.

It can also help if you have got evidence of your relationship with the child, such as a birth or adoption certificate and if you are a single parent and your family name is different to the child, it may also be helpful for you to bring a copy of your divorce or marriage certificate as well.

You should also check with the Embassy for the country you are travelling to that there are not any other additional requirements specific for that country in relation to travelling with a child.

How do I know if I have parental responsibility for the child?

If you are the child’s birth mother you will automatically have parental responsibility for the child and if you are the child’s father and you were married to the mother at the time of the birth then you will also have parental responsibility.

Otherwise, you will need to be named on the child’s birth certificate in order to have parental responsibility or have an order from the Court.

If there is a Child Arrangements Order already in place for the child that contains a “lives with order” in your favour, then you are able to take the child abroad for 28 days without obtaining permission from any other adult with parental responsibility for the child.  However, it is still a good idea to try and get permission or at least provide travel details and information to anyone else with parental responsibility.

What happens if the other adult with parental responsibility does not agree to me taking the child abroad?

If any adult with parental responsibility does not agree to you travelling abroad with the child, then you would need to make an application to the court for a Specific Issue Order in order to do so.

If a child is removed from the UK without the permission of all the adults with parental responsibility, this is a criminal offence and could have severe consequences.

If another adult with parental responsibility is seeking to take your child abroad, and you do not agree with this, then it is important you seek urgent legal advice in relation to the options available to you.

For more information

Pinney Talfourd’s family law team are ranked Tier 1 in 2023 by Legal 500 and offer expert advice. If you have any queries, please contact a member of our family team to book a free initial consultation. 

The above is meant to be only advice and is correct as of the time of posting. This article was written by Stephanie Leszman, Solicitor in the Family team at Pinney Talfourd LLP Solicitors. The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as of July 2023.



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