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Taking Children out of England & Wales

Glanvilles understands how difficult and stressful it can be to sort out arrangements for children. We have many years of experience in dealing with children issues both private law and public law.

Holidays abroad

You cannot take your child (under the age of 16) out of England and Wales without the consent of all others who have Parental Responsibility for your child or an order of the Court. To do so may be a criminal offence under the Child Abduction Act 1984.

You should always discuss holiday plans involving your children with the other parent and provide details including, destination, travel plans and emergency contact details. If they will not agree to a reasonable request for a holiday then an application can be made by you to the Court. This application may succeed as long as it is reasonable and in your child's best interest.

If you have a Residence Order

If a Residence Order is in force then the parent in whose favour the Residence Order is made may take the child out of the UK for up to 28 days without consent. However, they should still notify the other parent of their plans, as a matter of Courtesy.

Abroad Permanently

If you wish to move abroad with your child, the consent of the other parent with Parental Responsibility will be required. Even if the other parent does not have Parental Responsibility, there should be consultation and agreement. This will enable proper plans to be put in place regarding your child's relationship with the other parent and will prevent any last minute disruption to the move.

If the other parent objects to your child moving abroad you will have to make an application to the Court. The Court will have to decide the matter. In doing so, they will take into account:

  • The welfare of your child as a priority
  • Your proposals about your move abroad. The Court needs to be satisfied that there is a genuine need for the move and that it is not the intention to bring contact between your child and the other parent to an end
  • The effect of a Court refusing a move abroad on you and your child
  • The effect upon your child of reduced contact with the other parent and perhaps his or her family
  • The opportunity for continuing contact between your child and the parent left behind.

There is no presumption that you will be given permission to take your child with you to move abroad but great importance will be attached to how carefully your plans have been thought out and the motivation behind them. The Court will consider each application on its individual merits.