According to travel agents, tomorrow is Sunshine Saturday, which is the busiest holiday shopping day of the year. Travel agents are expected to see thousands booking a break in the sun, in an attempt to beat the post-Christmas winter blues.
Booking holidays is exciting, but for separated families with children, care needs to be taken as holiday contact arrangements need to be considered and agreed before you book any trip abroad (outside of England or Wales) with your children. In order to take your children abroad, you must have the agreement of anyone with Parental Responsibility (i.e. the mother, or father if on the birth certificate or married to the mother). If agreement is not forthcoming, then you can apply to the Court to get an Order to permit the holiday contact. Without agreement or a Court Order, then taking your child abroad may be considered child abduction which is a criminal offence.
You may already have a Child Arrangements Order in your favour detailing that your children should live with you, if this is the case, then you can take your children out of the UK for up to 28 days without the need for consent from the other parent.
If not, it is therefore very important to discuss and try and agree any holiday plans with the other parent before booking any trips abroad.
If you would like any advice on this matter then please contact the Family team who can help.
These notes have been prepared for the purpose of an article only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.