Do you have mum’s and dad’s permission to take your child abroad?

In Scotland the basic law is that  no person is entitled to remove a child from the United Kingdom without the permission of anyone holding any parental responsibility or parental right with respect to that child, which usually means the other parent.  This consent is usually given verbally although it may be in the form of a letter and is occasionally contained within a separation agreement between parents. 

Consequently where parents are separated , a parent who goes on holiday abroad with a child must get consent to do so from the other parent or any other person holding a parental right or responsibility.

The purpose of outlining all of this is to avoid the following scenario which has happened to a number of clients.  One parent wishes to take a child on holiday to Disneyland USA and the other parent does not wish this to happen or is not told about it in advance.  Arrangements are made, flights are booked and at the last possible minute one parent approaches the court for an interdict to prevent that child from going on holiday.  It is a very difficult task for a solicitor to convince the court that a child should not be allowed to go on a dream holiday to Disneyland USA and such a holiday will probably be allowed unless there are very good reasons not to do so.  However, the very fact that the matter has reached court will have caused expense to both parents, and in particular, distress for the child in circumstances where with a little communication and discussion these difficulties should never have arisen.  But it is plain daft to end up in court over such issues.  So the advice is communicate in plenty time with the other party involved, long before the holiday is booked or even properly planned.  Most parents can achieve agreement this way.

However if for some reason agreement can’t be reached, the Sheriff  Court can be approached in advance for the necessary holiday permission.   That will be granted as long as  it is in the best interests of that child to go on the holiday in question.  All of that can be sorted out within a matter of days, albeit at considerable expense.  Best not to end up here though if it can be avoided

Call us on 0800 005 1755 or contact us via the Contact page if you require further help or advice.