Summer holiday tips for separated parents
- Look at any Court Order or written agreements to see if it sets out the arrangements
- Whilst the agreement of the other parent is not needed if you holiday in the UK, it would be sensible to seek his/her consent in the absence of a Court Order or written agreement.
- It is illegal to take a child out of the UK without both parents agreeing unless there is a Child Arrangements Order, in which case the child can be taken out of the country for a maximum of 35 days.
- Try to make arrangements as soon as possible. Do not leave it to the last minute. It would be as well to plan for this as soon as your children’s school release their holiday dates for the next school year. This way you can work through dates to take into account your work and personal commitments in good time without risking the holiday being cancelled at the last minute.
- Do provide details of your travel plans well in advance. You should let the other parent know where you are staying, telephone details in case of an emergency, flight times and numbers and maybe an itinerary. That way the parent will not need regular updates from the children or from you. However, as the travelling parent, the children may want to speak to the other parent so bear this in mind provided it does not disturb the holiday for them.
- If you have small children, they may not want to be away from the other parent for more than a few days and may not be used to a different environment. Choose a suitable holiday destination carefully to meet the needs of your children.
- When arranging the holiday, make sure that the children are back in good time to prepare for school. You can now be fined for missing school.
- Check to see that the children’s passports (and yours) are valid and that you have appropriate insurance and if you are travelling in Europe, bring the children’s EHIC cards.
- Make sure the children’s passports are given to the other parent at least a week before they travel abroad so there are no last minute worries.
- Enjoy your holiday with the children. You do not have to spend a great deal of money on them. They just want quality time with you.
- If you are the stay at home parent, encourage the children to feel they will have a great time on holiday with their father/mother so they will not feel guilty about leaving you.
- If you have a new partner, and intend to go on holiday with him/her, do make sure the children are comfortable with this and discuss it with your former partner before hand.
- It is very expensive and stressful to make a last minute application to Court about arrangements so try and plan ahead and reach an agreement which is child focussed.
We have a range of family law services as well as actively encouraging all forms of out of court settlement including mediation and collaborative law. If you need help or advice on divorce or separation, please contact Richard Phillips, Senior Consultant Solicitor, Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer on 01442 200104 or [email protected].
Did you know Machins Solicitors offer free 30 minute consultations on all areas of family law in our Berkhamsted and Hemel offices? Please call 01442 872311 to make an appointment.