Taking a Child Abroad

Taking a Child Abroad

A child cannot be taken abroad without the permission of both parents and all those who may have parental responsibility, unless a Child Arrangements Order is in place for the child.

Any parent with a Child Arrangements Order stating the child shall live with them may remove a child from England and Wales for up to one month without the consent of the other party or permission of the Court. A person with whom the child lives can take the child abroad as many times as he or she likes provided each individual trip does not last more than one month, as long as a Residence/Child Arrangements Order is in place.

If you need legal advice in respect of taking a child abroad we can help. We provide free initial telephone consultations for all our clients. Call our specialist Child Law Solicitors now on 0844 800 9860 or contact us online for advice.

Obtaining permission to take a child abroad

The parent who does not have day to day care of the child will need permission of the other parent to take a holiday abroad for any period. A parent who removes a child from the UK without obtaining any required permission may be seen to have ‘abducted’ the child and proceedings at Court may be brought both here and in the country they have travelled to in order to secure the child’s return.

If there is no Residence Order/Child Arrangements Order in place, either parent in theory can take the child abroad without any restriction or need for consent under the Children Act 1989.  However the parent proposing the trip could be prevented from going by the other parent obtaining a Prohibited Steps Order or Specific Issue Order forbidding the child being taken abroad.  Additionally, a criminal offence under the Child Abduction Act 1984 may be committed by the parent taking the child if permission of the other parent or the Court is not obtained.

If the parent needs to apply to the Court to seek permission to take the child abroad, the Court will base its decision on the welfare principle.  It will be difficult to persuade the Court that a holiday abroad is not in the best interests of the child unless it is a cover for abduction.  It may be that copies of travel documentation and details of where the child will stay abroad will have to be provided before permission will be granted for the child to be taken abroad on holiday.

Our Services

If there is a dispute about travelling abroad and the arrangements for a holiday where consent is being withheld unreasonably then we can assist you in making an application to the Court for permission to take a child on holiday.

In the event that you are concerned that one parent intends to remove a child abroad without permission then we can assist in taking steps to prevent such action being taken.

If you need legal advice in respect of taking a child abroad we can help. We provide free initial telephone consultations for all our clients. Call our specialist Child Law Solicitors now on 0844 800 9860 or contact us online for advice.

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