Child arrangement letters for Easter holidays
If you’re planning a family holiday this Easter, now is the time to sort out your child arrangements with your ex-partner.
However, making child arrangements for holidays with your ex-spouse or partner may not be the easiest of conversations. It is all too easy for emotions and old resentments to bubble over, especially where one parent wants to take children abroad.
Child arrangements for holidays abroad
If you do want to take your children abroad during the Easter holidays, you will need permission from your ex-spouse. As part of your shared parental responsibility, you must:
- Tell your ex of your plan to take the children abroad
- Make sure your ex formally agrees before you start booking!
- Ensure you have the passport
- Provide full contact details of where the child is going, staying and telephone numbers
If you take your children out of the country without their other parent’s permission, even for a holiday, this is legally a case of child abduction.
The same of course applies if you ex-spouse wants to take the children abroad. They must seek and obtain your permission, and you must agree to their request before the children travel.
Getting permission in writing
That’s why we alway recommend getting that permission in writing, and why we provide a child arrangement letter service. This formalises your discussions about arrangements, or sets out your proposals, in writing. Since the letter comes via us, it is seen as impartial, less emotive and easier to agree to than endless phone calls, emails or texts. Contact us for more details.
Child arrangement letters for ex-pat parents
If you are an ex-pat and live and/or work abroad, you still need your ex's permission for the children to come and spend some or all of the holidays with you. By putting that permission request and agreement in writing, you can save a lot of lengthy discussions at border controls if you are collecting the children in person. This is especially important if your children no longer use your surname.
Can I force my ex to let the children go abroad?
If your ex doesn't give their permission for you to take children overseas, you can apply for a Specific Issue Order. This is a court order that decides on any specific question that may arise concerning Parental Responsibility, in this case, taking the child/children abroad. The court will determine if the proposed trip abroad is in the child’s best interest.
A court is unlikely to rule against a week’s holiday in the sun or a visit to grandparents or relatives in a country that is a member of the Hague Convention. However, the court may decide that other countries are not considered safe, or decide if there is a risk of the children not being returned to the UK.
This type of Order can work in your favour if you feel uncomfortable with your ex-spouse taking your children out of the country but your ex is insistent. The court will always assess the application to ensure it is in the best interests of the children. If you ex takes children out of the country without your permission, or on breach of a Specific Issues Order, this is legally classed as child abduction.
Child arrangements for holidays at home
If your ex spouse has child access or regular contact with the children, you need to agree arrangements in advance to avoid a last minute rush. If relations have become strained, this can be difficult as the end of term looms on the horizon.
Child arrangement letters from LGFL
At LGFL, we can write and send a formal child arrangements letter. This clearly lays out any decisions already made or proposes a set of arrangements. A child arrangement letter significantly reduces the amount of direct contact required between you and your ex. All they need to do is reply in writing agreeing to the arrangements, and the job is done.
Many of our single parent clients find this method of agreeing child arrangements is efficient, impartial and ‘official’, resulting in less hassle and better arrangements for their children.
Timing is crucial
With the current uncertainty over Brexit, travel to the EU could well be disrupted, if not downright problematic, over the Easter holidays. Equally, the courts usually experience a rush of applications for Specific Issues Orders before every school holiday from divorced parents who have left arrangements to the last minute and then cannot agree.
Needless to say, we recommend making child arrangements as soon as possible. Contact us to discuss your child arrangements letter, which could be eggs-actly what you need to ensure everyone in the family has a relaxed and enjoyable Easter holiday 2019!