Taking Children on Holiday

Now the world is returning to some sort of normality after Covid restrictions, many people are excited about the prospect of travelling again.

If planning a trip abroad, divorced and separated parents should be aware they may require the consent of the other parent if they intend to remove a child from the jurisdiction of the UK courts.

If there is a child arrangements order in place specifying the child lives with the parent who is planning the holiday, that parent can remove the child from the jurisdiction of the court for up to a month without the other parents’ permission.  Although to avoid any last minute upsets, it is advised to give notice to the other parent as far in advance of the planned holiday as possible.  There is nothing to stop the other parent making an application to the count to prevent the child from leaving the country, although they would have to give a very good reason for making such an application as the courts would be reluctant to deprive a child of a holiday without good reason.

If the holidaying parent is not the parent with whom the child lives with under a child arrangements order and the other parent does not agree to the holiday that parent will need to apply for permission to travel with the child.

If there is no child arrangements order in place, the holidaying parent should apply for leave of the court to remove the child from the jurisdiction if written consent to do so is not forthcoming from the other parent.   The application should be made well in advance of any planned holiday as it can take the court several months to process it. 

If you and your ex have agreed that the children can travel with you and you have that consent on writing, you should provide the other parent with dates of departure and return, accommodation details, flight details and contact numbers.  The children’s passports should be made available to the parent travelling. 

The travelling parent should always have written permission from the other parent to take away with them as some airport staff and in particular the immigration services in various countries may ask for evidence that permission has been granted.  It is advisable to travel with your children’s birth certificates so that you can prove your relationship with them if asked to do so.

If you do have any court orders relating to the children, take copies of these with you as well.  If your surname is different from that of your children you should have your marriage certificate or decree absolute to hand.

Please contact Joanna Gardner or Denise McCabe for specialist help and advice in all aspects of family law at or or telephone 01905 723561.

Added: 14 Jun 2022 13:36

Back To Blog


Who would you like to see?