Can I move with my child?

I’m a separated parent and the children of the relationship reside with me. Is it okay for me to take the children on holiday to England or abroad?

The first thing that needs to be identified before answering this question is whether or not the father of the child has parental rights and responsibilities. Mothers automatically have parental rights and responsibilities in respect of their children. Unmarried fathers will have parental rights and responsibilities in respect of their child if they are named on the child’s Birth Certificate and if the child was born after May 2006, when the Law in relation to parental rights and responsibilities changed. If the child was born before May 2006 the unmarried father will not automatically have parental rights and responsibilities irrespective of having his name on the child’s Birth Certificate. A married father who is named on the child’s Birth Certificate will have automatic parental rights and responsibilities, for children who are born before or after May 2006.

If a parent has parental rights and responsibilities in respect of the child, then the other parent with parental rights and responsibilities will not be entitled to remove the child from the United Kingdom, either permanently or for a holiday without the prior written consent of the other parent. If either parent with parental rights and responsibilities left the United Kingdom with the child, whether it was with the intention to permanently relocate or simply for a holiday, that removal would be classed as “wrongful” and could give rise to an action under The Hague Convention on International Child Abduction, for the immediate return of the child.

For the avoidance of doubt the United Kingdom includes Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This means that the above restriction on the movement of the child does not relate to moving around the United Kingdom. Therefore, a mother or father with parental rights and responsibilities can take their child/children to England for a holiday and will not require the consent of the other parent, irrespective of whether or not the other parent has parental rights and responsibilities.

For expert family law advice, specific to your circumstances , contact a member of Macleod & MacCallum’s award winning  family law team.

 

 

If you require advice on any of the matters referred to, please contact us so that we can advise you, taking account of your own particular circumstances and requirements.

Jenna Thomson

Jenna Thomson
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October 31, 2014