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Summer holiday arrangements

View profile for Lucy Phipps
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Summer holiday arrangements

It is around this time of year that families start to plan their summer holidays but, if you are separated from the mother or father of your children, what do you need to do legally before you book your holidays?

If you have a Residence Order or a Child Arrangements Order which states that the children live with you, there will be a footnote to the Order stating that you are entitled to take the children out of the country for up to 28 days. However, you do still need to provide details of the holiday (dates, flights and accommodation details) in advance and make reasonable efforts to ensure that any contact they might have been having during that period is made up.

If you do not have a Court Order then you will need the written consent of the other parent. If they do not provide this consent and you have provided all of the proposed travel details, you should consider applying to the Court for a Specific Issue Order and discuss this with your family solicitor. If the holiday is going to be in the best interests of the children, they are used to spending overnights with you and there are no welfare reasons why it should not take place then there is a good prospect of the application being successful.

It is important to ensure that you have either a Court Order or written consent before you book the holiday to avoid losing your deposit.

If you do not have permission to the take the children on holiday, it could amount to an offence of child abduction if you remove them from England & Wales, and you may be arrested and charged.