With the Easter school holidays almost upon us, many parents will be planning to take their children abroad for a family break in the sun.

If the family unit remains intact, this may a relatively stress free process.

If, however, parents have separated, the arrangements may cause a few more headaches.

It is a common misconception that the parent who is due to spend time with the children during a holiday period is entitled to take them abroad without discussion with the other parent.

This is misguided. In actual fact neither parent is entitled to take a child abroad without the prior consent of the other parent.

Before booking a trip, it is therefore a good idea to make broad details of what is proposed available for consideration by the other parent.

Once consent has been obtained and a trip booked, the specifics of the trip should then be divulged.

As a bare minimum, flight details and a note of the accommodation in which the child will be staying should be made provided.

Emergency contact numbers should also be exchanged along with their passport and any other information including medical insurance documents.

In the event that consent to a trip is not forthcoming, the court can be asked to provide permission.

The Sheriff will require to consider what is in the best interests of the child or children before determining the issue.

The family law team at Brodies is able to provide expert advice in situations where children are to be taken abroad and consent is not forthcoming.


Donna McKay

Legal Director