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I want to take my children on holiday abroad. Do I need to tell my partner?

If no residence orders or other restrictions are in place and both you and your partner have parental responsibility then you would need to obtain written consent from your partner – or indeed anyone else who has parental responsibility – before taking your children on holiday abroad. If the other parent refuses to give you and your children consent to go on holiday then it is possible to apply to the courts for permission.

The mother will always have parental responsibility. A father can have parental responsibility in a number of different situations. If the father was married to the child’s mother when the child was born or if he married the child’s mother after the child was born then the father will be deemed to have parental responsibility. As long as the child’s birth was registered on or later than 1 December 2003 and the father is named on the birth certificate then a father who never married the child’s mother can also be deemed to have parental responsibility. Another way to gain parental responsibility is by obtaining agreement from the mother or, alternatively, a court can order that someone have parental responsibility.

However, if one parent has a residence order then that parent doesn’t need the other parent’s permission to take the children out of the country for no more than 28 days.

If the other parent does not have parental responsibility and there are no residence orders then you will not need the other parent’s permission to go on holiday abroad. We do recommend, however, that you should discuss your intentions with the other parent.

If you as a parent do not have parental responsibility then you are able to apply for parental responsibility through the courts and then object to them going on holiday abroad.

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