Taking children on holiday abroad after separation
On theParentConnection Forum, we often receive posts from users asking about summer holidays and taking children abroad after a divorce has been settled.
We asked Adele Wilkinson, mediation specialist and partner at law firm Andrew Jackson, to give some advice on taking children on holiday after you’ve separated from their other parent:
Summer's here, the kids are off school and the holiday season is well and truly upon us.
Arranging and going on holiday should be a pleasure and a treat – but organising holidays and spending time abroad can be really stressful.
So how do separated parents manage to navigate the minefield of taking the children on holiday abroad?
My advice would be to get together as early as possible in the year to plan out holidays and work out which weeks the children will spend with mum, which weeks with dad and give an idea of where the holidays will be.
A parenting plan may be useful when making these decisions.
If it isn't possible to plan a long way ahead, then agreeing a minimum notice period is always helpful.
Who do the children's passports belong to?
Quite often, there are arguments about who keeps the children's passports and who's responsible for renewing them.
Surely the case is that the passports belong to the children and should be kept with them (albeit looked after by an adult).
If the parents can't agree who should look after the passports then it can be helpful to nominate an independent third party such as a grandparent or godparent to do this.
All in all, the golden rule is exchange information as soon as you can, to avoid double bookings and disappointment for the children. Be upfront about your plans and make sure the other parent has all the information they need to make them feel comfortable with the holiday.
What if you don’t want your partner to take the kids on holiday abroad? Read Adele’s advice guide here.
Adele Wilkinson is a partner and mediation specialist at law firm Andrew Jackson. She has practised as a family lawyer since 1989. She has a wealth of experience in dealing with financial, children and domestic violence issues. Adele is Chair of Hull & East Yorkshire Resolution (the national family lawyers association) and practices the Resolution Code of Conduct to represent family clients through the Court process in a civilised, non adversarial way, when other methods of dispute resolution are not appropriate.