Can I Take My Child Abroad on Holiday?

Can I take my child abroad on holiday?

With another half term and summer holiday period fast approaching, a number of parents and families may be considering taking their children away on holiday. But Can I Take My Child Abroad on Holiday? This time of year can often cause disputes between separated parents. When one parent wishes to take the children on holiday. But what is the answer in these circumstances? Does the other parent need to provide consent?

Whose permission is required before taking a child abroad?

Many parents are unaware that it is an offence (punishable by imprisonment) to take their child out of England and Wales, without obtaining the appropriate consent.

If you wish to take your child on holiday, you should obtain consent from all those who have Parental Responsibility for the child (including the father – even if he does not have Parental Responsibility).

Please see our previous blog dated 21 June 2018, which explains what Parental Responsibility is and who has it.

However, if a Child Arrangements Order (or a Residence Order) has been made by the Court confirming that the child should live with one parent (the resident parent), then that parent may take their child abroad for a maximum of 28 days without the permission of the other (unless there is a Court Order to the contrary).

Alternatively, you can take your child abroad if there is a Court Order in place providing you with permission.

What information should I provide to the other parent when asking permission to take our child abroad?

When asking the other parent or those with Parental Responsibility for permission, you should provide full details of the arrangements (including the dates, destination, where you will be staying and flight details).

It is recommended that you ask the other parent to provide their consent in writing. This will evidence the consent and can be shown if questions are raised by authorities when you leave the country.

What should I do if the other parent or people with Parental Responsibility will not agree to provide their consent?

If the other parent (or those with Parental Responsibility for a Child) will not provide their consent for you to take your child abroad, you should not do so (unless one of the exceptions applies), as you may be committing an Offence under the Child Abduction Act.

Instead, you can apply to the Court for a Specific Issue Order to ask the Court for permission to take your child on the proposed holiday.

The Court has to consider a number of factors when considering whether to allow the child to be taken on holiday. Therefore, if you are considering making an application, it is advisable to speak to a family law specialist to discuss your circumstances and prospects of success.

It is always preferable to try to work together to co-parent and agree the arrangements with the other parent. An application to Court should always be the last resort.


If you wish to discuss any of the above issues in further detail, please contact our family law team to arrange an appointment. In view of the fact all of our circumstances are different, it is always important to seek advice from an experienced family law specialist to discuss your circumstances and consider the different options available to you.

At Hart Reade, all of our family law solicitors are members of Resolution, which means we are committed to resolving matters by agreement and in a non-confrontational manner.

We can provide you with a wealth of information, advice and support to assist you during what can be a difficult time. If you wish to speak to any of the family law team, please call us on 01323 727321.

Alternatively, please complete the contact form below.

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Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice. You should always speak to a legal professional to discuss your circumstances and consider your options.