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Separated parents child law issues

Summer Holidays and Specific Issue Orders

One of the common issues that separated parents can face is when one parent wishes to take the children on holiday and the other does not agree.

Where there are no orders in force it is open to parents to take their children abroad, subject to the rules of the country they are going to. You should, if possible, obtain the consent of the other parent beforehand. Some countries will not let you travel without the consent of the other parent. The other parent should know basic details about the trip such as where you will be staying and any flight details. They should also have contact details if there is an emergency.

Applying for a Specific Issue Order

Either parent has the ability to apply to the Court for an Order either to prevent the other from going abroad with the children or to stop them doing something else significant, this is called a Prohibited Steps Order. Alternatively if you are seeking permission to do something that the other parent does not consent to then the Order you can apply for is known as a Specific Issue Order.

Normally as long as it will not impact the children’s education or their relationship with the other parent the Court will consider most holidays to be in the best interests of the children and, should an application be made, grant a Specific Issue Order. The Court urges parents to agree this type of issue if at all possible. There is a significant backlog at the Court and so one cannot just apply to the Court for an order the week before the holiday as they will not be able to accommodate you at such short notice unless the children were at risk of harm. It would be highly unusual for a risk of harm to be relevant to a holiday.

Travel during the Pandemic

However the pandemic has added another layer to this. Some parents may be happy to travel with their children whereas others are not. If you are looking to go to a country on the amber or red list then unless it is for a very specific event (such as a funeral) then you are unlikely to succeed in obtaining Orders to travel if the other parent does not agree.

As a result you should exercise caution and common sense if seeking to travel and ensure that you have the consent of the other parent before you make any bookings.

Watson Thomas Solicitors have offices in Fleet, Guildford, Bracknell, Camberley, Farnborough and Woking.

Watson Thomas are a dedicated team of Family Lawyers who specialise in all aspects of family law. If you have any questions regarding resolving matrimonial issues during divorce please do get in touch.

Our staff can work from home and access all systems so even if all are required to self-isolate this will not affect the day-to-day running of your case. We can also hold appointments via telephone and video conferencing, as needs be, to ensure that your service is not interrupted.

Our expert family lawyers are happy to assist with issues relating to children and so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch. Please call us on 0800 488 0218.

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