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Travelling abroad with children after divorce

Tuesday June 21, 2022



Every year, just in England and Wales, over 103,000 divorces are filed. No matter how common divorces might be, each one comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties. Even more importantly, a divorce might be a decision for individuals to regain happiness. But what does that mean when you want to enjoy a holiday abroad with your little ones? There is a bit more that you should know about before booking your next family trip abroad.


Understanding the implications of taking your child abroad

Before booking your next holiday, it is important to understand the implications of travelling with your child abroad after a divorce. Generally, taking a child abroad without obtaining the necessary permission could be considered child abduction and can lead to criminal charges. This all depends on the custody decisions settled during the divorce process.

You might not need to get permission from your ex-partner or other individuals with parental responsibility if a child arrangement order specifies that the child must live with you. In this case, you will not need permission to take your child on holiday abroad for up to 28 days unless a court explicitly says you cannot.


Get the permission you need

Outside of the cases seen above, you will be legally required to ask permission before travelling abroad with your children. You will need to obtain written permission from your ex-partner and other individuals who share parental responsibility. Your solicitor at Curtis Whiteford Crocker can liaise with your ex-partner and other parties involved on your behalf.

If you are the only individual with parental responsibility, you are not expected to ask for permission, but you are advised to let the other parent know about your holiday plans unless this puts your family at risk or is not applicable.


Check destination-specific requirements

Not all destinations will require the same sets of documents or will have the same rules in place. You should keep in mind that:

  • Abroad refers to all countries and territories outside of the United Kingdom.
  • Legal systems within the United Kingdom might have different requirements. You should be mindful if you are moving your child from England to Scotland, for example. 
  • Each country has different age limits up to which an individual is considered a child. Make sure to get in contact with the local embassy to learn more about specific requirements.


Documents needed to travel abroad with your child

When travelling abroad with your child after a divorce, you should be prepared to prove their identity as well as yours, provide evidence of your relationship and of your parental responsibility and produce specifics of your trip. Especially if your children have different surnames to yours.

Some documents to carry for a less stressful holiday abroad include:

  • Identity documents
  • Written consent from your ex-partner or from a court
  • Contact details of the consenting parent
  • Birth or adoption certificates
  • Divorce certificate

Travelling abroad this summer? Contact an expert solicitor at CWC

Both you and your little ones deserve to enjoy a memorable holiday this summer – especially after having gone through the difficulties of a divorce. At Curtis Whiteford Crocker Solicitors, we can help you better understand all you need to know to prepare for your upcoming holiday and protect your rights in the case of a dispute. 

Get in touch with our team of specialised solicitors or find your nearest office to you in Devon.

No matter how common divorces might be, each one comes with its own set of challenges and difficulties.