With Christmas fast approaching, it is a period when people wish to travel abroad to see family. It is important to note that when both parties have parental responsibility for a child the other parent’s consent must be obtained prior to taking the child out of the jurisdiction of England & Wales. If consent is not obtained and the child is removed, it can be classed as child abduction. In any event, it is always best practice to obtain the other parent’s consent, irrespective of whether they have parental responsibility or not.
The first step in obtaining consent is to discuss matters and provide details about the holiday with the other parent and obtain their verbal but preferably written consent. If this is not forthcoming, you can consider instructing a solicitor to write to the other parent to set out the legal requirements and provide the other parent with standard information that is often directed by the court e.g. evidence of return flight details, accommodation details and contact details. If the other parent refuses to engage or respond to a legal letter, then an application to the court for a specific issue order may then need to be made.
An application for a specific issue order is made for the court to determine whether the child should be allowed to be removed from the jurisdiction of England & Wales or not.
If you are considering a holiday with your child and fear that the other parent will not agree to such a holiday, it is important to deal with the issue as soon as possible so that the correct steps can be taken. It is also important to look at the potential safeguards that can be put in place and ensure that there is enough time to do so.
If you are the parent who does not wish your child to be removed from the country, then again, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. If there are concerns that the child may not be returned for example, that parent may need to consider issuing an application for a prohibited steps order to prevent the other parent from removing the child from the jurisdiction.
We have helped many people in these situations both in opposing holidays and seeking permission for a holiday to be taken. Please contact us to speak to one of our specialist solicitors to discuss matters further on 0121-702-1580.