Summer is just around the corner now and if you are lucky, so is that holiday that was booked for you and the children. You have confirmation of the deposit paid, you have booked seats together on the flights, and the date on the calendar as a reminder to pay the balance. All you need is the children’s passports from your former partner. Everything is organised and falling into place when suddenly you are told that the children will no longer be coming with you.
Unfortunately as experienced family law solicitors, this is a scenario that we hear only too often at this time of the year. Holidays are booked and paid for, then without warning (usually following a disagreement about something unrelated) consent is withdrawn to the children going away.
This causes a combination of untold stress, worry, disappointment and potential financial loss. These situations leave parents feeling powerless, and children at risk of loosing out on all those memories of family holidays.
If this is your situation or the position of someone you know, it is very important that specialist expert advice is obtained without delay. With a little assistance, the majority of parents faced with this dilemma do manage to resolve things amicably. However if this is simply not possible, then applications can be made to court very urgently – sometimes up to the day the holiday begins – to obtain permission to take children on holiday in the face of opposition from a parent.
Faced with a genuine holiday, the court is likely to agree that children should be allowed to travel particularly when the arrangements have been made in good faith and with agreement of the other parent. One tip would be not to book a holiday without first consulting the other parent first. The subsequent withdrawal of agreement goes a long way to achieve a successful outcome to a case.
We help many parents quickly in this situation and have seen a number of families over the years being reunited and holidaying together. Hopefully your holiday will be without such stresses and strains – the only decision you should have is whether to go to the beach or lie by the pool!