Can I take my child on holiday if the other parent objects?

This is a question we are often asked during the summer holidays, but especially now while lockdown and quarantine rules are being eased with some countries and being tightened in others.

Even in normal circumstances, the issue for taking a child abroad for a holiday can often be a cause of conflict between separated parents.

If the Lives With Order is in your favour then you can take your child abroad for up to one month as long as there are no other court orders prohibiting this.

What if the holiday has been booked and paid for?

For parents who have previously been able to agree on matters among themselves without requiring legal intervention, the other parent would still have a right of veto over a holiday abroad. This is even if the holiday has been booked and paid for.

Indeed, many people will feel that it is still not sensible to travel.

In practice, the Court will consider what is in the best interest of the child if parents cannot agree and can make an order about whether they can or cannot go on a particular holiday.  If the holiday is soon you would have to seek an urgent hearing and this is not always simple.

As a guide here is what the Court will take into consideration; known as the welfare checklist:

  • the wishes and feelings of the child concerned
  • the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs
  • the child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of the child which the court considers relevant
  • the likely effect on the child of any change in circumstances
  • how capable of meeting the child’s needs is each of the child’s parents and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question relevant
  • any harm that the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering

Under normal circumstances the Court will take a view that a holiday for a child is a good thing to be enjoyed.

However, due to COVID-19, decisions could vary considerably on a case by case basis as this is down to the discretion of the judge.

We are here to help you

Here at Phillips, we will listen to your concerns and discuss your options, letting you know what your rights are, as well as those of your former partner.

To find out more please contact Hayley Eachus who heads our Family Law team by calling 01256 854633 or email [email protected]

Alternatively click here to go to our contact page.

During these difficult times our Town Gate office in Basingstoke is temporarily closed to visitors unless by prior appointment when meeting in person is essential. However, thanks to our lawyers being able to work remotely, Phillips remains fully open for business and can discuss your legal matters by telephone and video conference.



This article is current at the date of publication set out above and is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.