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Can you secure a Children’s Holiday Order?

by Ridley&Hall in Family & Matrimonial, Karen Roberts posted March 28, 2022.

I love my holidays.  Contemplating holidays away with the family brings with it great joy and adventure.  The prospect of long light sunny days, making memories with our children, camping in the countryside, at the coast, or on the beach, and if you are very lucky, flying to see, explore and indulge in holidays abroad.  This all sounds so easy. As we all know from our shared covid pandemic experience, this part of our lives is precious and should not be taken for granted.

There are often struggles when there are separated families and blended children’s arrangements.  Even with the very best of intentions, parents or carers can have different perspectives on what should or should not occur for their children.  Some individuals are risk adverse, and some are risk takers.  It is unfortunately common to encounter parents who cannot agree arrangements for children for holiday plans. A parent may ask “what can be done so that I can secure a holiday away with my children, so that we can escape our routine life? “

At Ridley & Hall, we have a very experienced, well qualified, caring, and supportive Family Team.  We can thoroughly assess your situation and offer strategic and bespoke legal advice to assist you to achieve the best outcome possible.

To have the best prospects of securing certain holiday arrangements, planning is key.  If you know or suspect that your proposed holiday plans with the children may not be received well, then I would urge you to take advice early. Ideally take advice before committing to holiday plans that you cannot then easily cancel or move.

To take a child abroad, you will need the consent of everyone who has parental responsibility. This may not just be a parent, it may be a carer who has a Special Guardianship Order or a Local Authority. It is a lesser-known fact that without written consent from all with parental responsibility, if you press ahead with your plans, then you may be committing a criminal offence of child abduction.

If agreed solutions are not possible, then we can help, support advise and represent you to achieve a court-based outcome.  Under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989 the court can make very narrow and specific decisions about particular holiday arrangements or for special plans, such as for Weddings. A Specific Issue Order makes a positive order about a holiday plan. To stop a particular holiday or break away the court can make a Prohibited Steps Order. The court can also assist by setting a routine annual pattern that can be relied on by parents or carers long term, giving peace of mind.

If you are an individual who desperately wants to take your child away, and you are facing obstruction, then please do get in touch with us on our freephone 0800 8 60 62 65.  If you are worried that a parent or carer of your children has over ambitious and unsuitable plans for holiday arrangements, and you do not feel comfortable about how the plans impact, then please do approach our friendly family legal team.

Karen Roberts

Karen Roberts – Solicitor & Partner



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