After the epidemic and limitations put a stop to many vacation plans for two years in a row, summer 2022 is predicted to be a boom season for families taking international vacations.

Have you “packed” your child’s travel authorization?

Verify that you have packed all of the necessary items for your vacation as the planet reopens and is prepared to welcome guests. It is crucial to obtain the other parent’s consent before removing a child from the country for a vacation if the child’s parents are divorced and one of them plans to travel outside of the United Kingdom with the child.

This blog aims to draw attention to a topic that many families don’t usually think about. As a result, some people experience distress at passport checks when asked whether the child they are traveling with has permission from the absent parent to leave the country. I’m talking specifically to plans for holiday travel for the sake of this blog. The ability to take a child permanently outside of the United Kingdom must be approved in terms of relocation or kidnapping; it is not being taken into account in this case.

Can you provide evidence of your ex-partner’s permission to take your child? 

First off, it’s crucial to recognise that many divorced parents are able to work together to resolve all matters pertaining to the care of their children. This typically includes making plans for the child’s care and granting consent for the child to go on vacation, whether with the parent with whom the child dwells mostly or the other parent.

In spite of this, many parents just aren’t aware of the requirement to be able to prove the other parent’s approval in order to help with the trip, even in those cooperative circumstances. But in certain circumstances, asking the other parent for a letter granting consent for the child to leave the country ought to be very straightforward. While an affidavit, which is a document sworn under oath in front of a Notary Public, would be the ideal way to formalise this permission, many parents do just fine with a letter of authorization. The permission letter should contain as much information as possible to allow the letter’s author to be confirmed. You can also speak with your travel agency to get guidance on what is needed to support the role.

What if I don’t get permission to take my child?

When the parents have not been working together cooperatively, the issue is more challenging, and in that case, certain interventions may be needed to advance the situation.

The Children (Scotland) Act of 1995 establishes parental obligations and limits the use of parental rights by parents in connection to their children. These include the right to keep close ties and direct contact with the child as well as the right to have the child live with that parent. Unless the situation has been clearly controlled otherwise, it is generally assumed that two people who have parental rights in connection to a child can exercise such rights without the approval of another.

There is a significant exemption, however, as the Act continues to provide that, absent a court order, no one is permitted to take a child who is ordinarily resident in Scotland from or to maintain a child outside of the United Kingdom without the other parent’s permission. If you and the other parent are unable to come to an agreement, the first action you should take if your child has been denied permission by the other parent to take a vacation is to speak with a lawyer about your alternatives.

In many situations, a formal invitation from a lawyer to the parent and a request for approval may be enough to get the objecting parent to reconsider and decide that, after all, allowing the child to go on vacation may be in their best interests. It is crucial to keep in mind that the planned vacation may conflict with a time when the other parent would normally be expected to be with the child, regardless of whether that time has been specified in a court order or an agreement. If so, the specific agreement to the child “missing” that time with the parent should be included in the agreement to travel on vacation.

What additional steps might be required to take the child on holiday?

If the issue cannot be resolved through letters, a parent has the option of bringing it up in court to request a “Specific Issue Order.” According to the 1995 Act, this is an Order governing any specific issue that has come up or could come up regarding parental rights and obligations.

Particular Issue Order/ Child arrangement order

Unspecific Problem Even if the other parent has not given their consent, an order can be requested asking the court to issue one allowing the kid to travel beyond the United Kingdom with a certain parent. The court may also rule that the other parent’s permission was unreasonably withheld. The dates and location of the proposed holiday time are frequently included in an Order given under these terms. It should also be as explicit as possible.

Occasionally, when the Court determines that one parent routinely withholds or refuses to grant permission without good cause, the Court may make a general provision allowing the kid to take an annual vacation outside of the United Kingdom. If legal action has been taken, it would make sense to ask the court to postpone any existing orders requiring the other parent to have contact with the kid during the vacation period. This will prevent the parent taking the child on vacation from breaking the contract order. In place of the missing contact period, the court may then consider an alternate contact period.

Does your kid get to speak?

The court’s guiding concept is to decide what is best for the child, thus each case must be evaluated on its unique facts. The court would fully consider and weigh any legitimate resistance to the planned vacation from the other parent before making a decision.

Additionally, it is crucial to remember that both parents and the court must consider a child’s opinions when making decisions that have a significant impact on the child. As a result, the court may order that a notification be given to the child to get their opinion on taking a vacation. It is important to keep in mind that in cases when a non-consenting parent has no specific justification for withholding their consent, their child may learn about that rejection. 

Understand your parental responsibility 

At Clarity Simplicity, we can help you throughout the process and put all the child’s arrangements order in place. Contact us today! 

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