My ex won’t let me take our children on holiday! What should I do?

This time of year many of us are counting down to a well deserved summer holiday. Often these have been booked for many months, but sometimes are lastminute decisions. What should be an exciting trip to look forward to can become a very stressful issue if you are a separated parent.

The law in England and Wales allows either parent to take their child on holiday, without the other parent as long as the other parent has given their consent. Sometimes the need for consent is overridden by a Court Order, which can allow one parent to travel overseas for up to 28 days without the other parent's consent.  However, it is still best to do this, as if the other parent does not think the holiday is safe or in the best interests of the child, they can make an application to the court to stop the child from going.  This is called a prohibited steps application.

It is important to remember that consent is required from both parents before a child leaves the UK. Without consent of the other parent or an Order from the court the trip could be considered Child Abduction. Best practice would be to get the other parent to provide their consent before the trip is booked.  It is not unusual, or unreasonable for the other parent to request and be provided specific details of the trip before they give their consent e.g. flight times, location you will be staying.  If the parent doesn’t reply or refuses to give consent it is possible to make an application to the court to have consent provided by a Judge instead.  This is called a specific issue application.

In most cases, the legal costs associated with these types of application can be as much if not more than the cost of a holiday.  At Family Mediation and Mentoring LLP, we work with separated parents to help them resolve issues about travel with children, which will explore the concerns and what can be done to ensure both parents are comfortable with plans made (or not). Mediation can help parents reach an amicable agreement about a number of separated parent issues they may face, reducing their legal fees and keeping them out of court with a more likely chance of a successful co-parenting relationship in the future.

If you would like more information about how mediation can help you reach an agreement and stay out of court you may find that some of the information on our website is helpful – www.familymediationandmentoring.co.uk On our website you can also book a free call using our calendar booking system so that you can ask us any questions that you may have. Or give us a call or drop us an email- 0800 206 2258  hello@familymandm.co.uk

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