Many parents want to take their children on vacations overseas. This could be for a vacation, to see family, or in some situations, to reside in a distant nation. While the possibilities are thrilling, it is critical that you understand and evaluate the legal ramifications of sending your child overseas. This is especially true if you are estranged from the child’s other parent.
If there are no Court orders in place, you must acquire permission from each individual who has Parental Responsibility for the child to travel overseas. This must be completed if you want to spend more than one month abroad or live abroad. If you do not acquire approval and take your child overseas, you may risk prosecution and, in some situations, jail if proved guilty. If you request consent from the other persons with Parental Responsibility for your child and they reject, you will need to apply to the Court for permission to take the child overseas. We can help you with this and offer legal guidance in this case.
There may be cases where the child’s mother is the sole one with Parental Responsibility, in which case she does not require permission to send the child overseas. However, it is still acceptable parenting practise to consult with the child’s other parent and obtain their permission before taking the child abroad.
If a Child Arrangements Order is in force, the situation is different. If you have a Child Arrangements Order stating that the child is to reside with you, you may take the child abroad for up to one month without the approval of everyone else with Parental Responsibility. However, even if the time spent overseas is less than a month, it is good parenting practise to try to reach an agreement with the other parent ahead of time.
If a grandmother or other family member intends to take a kid overseas, agreement from all adults with Parental Responsibility for the child is required.
If you want to take your child to live permanently in another country, you will need the approval of the other people with Parental Responsibility or a Court Order.
If you ask the other persons with Parental Responsibility for their permission and they do not respond or you are unable to contact them, you must demonstrate that you took reasonable steps to contact them in order to acquire their permission. If you ask someone for permission and they refuse, they must give you a reasonable explanation for not allowing you to take your child abroad. They cannot deny or say no without providing a valid cause.
In all circumstances, whether there are Court Orders in place or not, it is best to agree on any arrangements for going overseas in advance to avoid misunderstandings, contact issues, possible claims of abduction, and applications to the Court.
Contact our office at 0151 236 1234 for more information and particular legal advice about moving your child/ren overseas. An appointment with one of our Solicitors can be scheduled for you.