Married fathers: an exceptional parental responsibility status?
Sarah French | 20.06.2019
16.04.2019 Laura Sanderson
Easter offers many parents an opportunity to take their children on holiday and the big question is often home or away? If you are a separated parent, the decision to take your kids abroad can be more complicated than it first appears.
Like many separated parents, you may have managed to agree the general arrangements for the shared care of your children, without needing the assistance of lawyers or the court.
Even for the most amicable of separated parents, holidays can still be a point of contention and cause disagreements to flare up. You may have got over the first hurdle of reaching an agreement on the dates, only to then find out that the other parent will not agree to the children going to the holiday destination you have in mind. This can lead to the unenviable situation where you are left with non-refundable plane tickets and accommodation that you cannot use.
If both you and the other parent have Parental Responsibility but you do not have a court order defining that the children live with you, you need the consent of the other parent to take the children out of the jurisdiction of England & Wales.
It is often the case that consent is not provided simply because the necessary information has not been given in time.
Not only is it courteous to provide the other parent with information about your travel plans but it will also help to alleviate any concerns they may have and aid an agreement to be reached. Do not leave it until the month before but plan ahead and provide the other parent with as much information as possible about the holiday. Reassure them that a reasonable time before the trip you will also provide them with specific detail on the following;
Often a parent’s initial unwillingness to provide their consent stems from worry about the children being far away from them in an unknown place. If you can agree times that you will facilitate a phone call between them and the children, this may make them feel more comfortable with your plans.
If despite your best efforts the other parent still does not agree, then your last resort is an application to the court for a Specific Issue Order. Such action can be a lengthy and time consuming process so it is important to try to seek agreement to your holiday plans long in advance so that should the assistance of the court be required, there is still plenty of time to act.
If you are separated and looking for more advice on your legal rights as a parent, Moore Blatch has a dedicated team of expert family lawyers to assist you.