Travelling With Children as a Separated Parent: What Do I Need to Know?

Year Published: 2019

As the holiday season approaches, we have received a number of queries recently from clients who are planning on travelling with children as a separated parent, and asking whether they are able to take their child abroad without the consent of the other parent.

The simple answer is you are not allowed to take your child on holiday without gaining prior permission from anyone with parental responsibility of that child. You will be committing an offence under the Child Abduction Act should you choose to travel without their permission. An exception to this is if you have a Child Arrangement Order in place from the Court which specifies your child is to ‘live with you’. If you have an order which specifies this then you are able to take your child away for up to 28 days without permission.

Getting Permission Prior to Travelling with Children as a Separated Parent:

Single mother on holiday with child

In short, permission needs to be granted by the other parent if they have parental responsibility. A mother automatically has parental responsibility of her child from birth. A father will have parental responsibility if they were married to the mother of the child at the time of birth, if they are named on the child’s birth certificate after 1 December 2003, if a parental responsibility agreement has been made or if it has been ordered by the court.

When travelling with children as a separated parent either in the UK or overseas, you should ensure that you have the other parent’s consent in writing to take on holiday with you. To alleviate any concerns regarding travel, we also recommend providing all travel details to the non-travelling parent such as flight details, accommodation details and contact details.

If you are a separated parent and concerned about the law on travelling with your child, we advise clarifying your position with a solicitor before booking your holiday. For further information, contact Cheryl Haywood in our Family Law team on 01260 282314 or email [email protected].

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