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Can a father stop a mother taking child on holiday?

In this article we look at can a father stop a mother taking child on holiday? When a relationship comes to an end, reaching an agreement on issues surrounding child arrangements can sometimes prove difficult. If one parent wants to take the child abroad, whether for a holiday or a permanent move, it is not uncommon for problems to emerge.

Before we can look at the key points of can a father stop a mother taking child on holiday, we need to understand the law relating to taking your child overseas after divorce.


Parental responsibility and permission

If you would like to take your child abroad, you will need to seek permission to do so from everyone who has parental responsibility.


Taking your child abroad without the relevant permissions could be seen as child abduction.


Taking a child abroad for a holiday

When considering can a father stop a mother taking child on holiday, you have need to consider if there is a child arrangement order.

A child arrangement order which specifies that your child should live with you, it may be possible to take your child overseas on holiday (a period of 28 days or less) without permission from other parties with parental responsibility, unless there is a court order stating to the contrary.


Do I have parental responsibility?

The woman who gives birth to a child automatically has parental responsibility for that child.


If the father of the child was either married to the mother of the child when the child was born or is listed on the birth certificate, normally he will have parental responsibility.


For those who do not have parental responsibility, it is possible to apply for it through the courts.


How do I get permission?

As we mentioned above, it is vital to get permission to take your child abroad from all parties with parental responsibility.


Talking to the other person about your plans and asking for their permission is often the best place to start.


Normally, a letter from the other person/people with parental responsibility, stating that they are happy for you to take your child out of the UK, is sufficient.

Can a father stop a mother taking child on holiday?


You may be asked to show this letter when you travel abroad with your child. Ensure that the contact details for the person providing permission are included on the letter.


Information about the planned trip should also be detailed on the letter.


It can also be a good idea to take your child’s birth certificate along, too, in case you need to show this.


If you and your child have different surnames, you should also consider taking your divorce certificate.


What can I do if the other person will not give me permission? 

If the other person/people with parental responsibility do not want you to take your child abroad, it may be necessary to ask a court for permission to do so.


The court will require details of your trip abroad. If you intend to be abroad for a long time, you will need to provide much more detailed information regarding, for example, where you and your child will live.


If a court gives you permission to go abroad with your child, you will need to take your court order with you when you leave the UK .


It is highly recommended that you obtain legal advice from a solicitor if you need to go to court to seek permission to take your child abroad.


How can our expert divorce solicitors help you?

Our expert divorce solicitors can help you with a range of legal issues:


Contact our expert divorce solicitors for advice

For more information call our divorce solicitors on 0845 862 5001 or email


Our expert divorce solicitors offer a nationwide service. We have client meeting office facilities available, in order to have face-to-face client meetings / conferences as and when required in our:

Leeds Office: St Andrew House, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 5JW

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Please contact us for more details.

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08th November 2018

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