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Taking DD on holiday

(8 Posts)
Noregrets78 Tue 16-Aug-16 09:17:31

Bit of background - DD is 12, and we'd like to go to Canada on holiday. I'm divorced from her Dad, although we both have Parental Responsibility. She has very little contact with him, although there are no Court Orders in place for residency etc.

He will not sign a letter authorising me to take her out of the country, so I believe I need a court order. We've been abroad before with no issue, but I believe Canada and the States are hotter on this, and I don't want to risk being turned away!

Seem to need a specific issues order. But I've also seen that you have to give precise plans / flight details etc. I wasn't planning on booking until this was resolved! And anyway can't I apply for a more general one which will give me permission each year? Seems ridiculous to do this each time we want to go on holiday...

Thank you in advance!

TimeforaNNChange Tue 16-Aug-16 09:47:45

If you apply for a child arrangements order that names you as the parent she normally lives with (formally the resident parent) - you can remove her from the country for up to 4 weeks without requiring his permission.
That's probably going to work better for you all.

Noregrets78 Tue 16-Aug-16 13:16:49

Did occur to me, it just felt like a sledgehammer to crack a nut IYSWIM. As I think it would need to cover contact as well as residency etc? I guess I'm daunted by opening so many cans of worms when actually things are going OK and I just want to be able to go on holiday...

TimeforaNNChange Tue 16-Aug-16 14:04:25

As far as I know, the court process is all very similar once the forms are submitted - there's no such thing as rubber stamping in family court, every application of any type is subject to the same preliminary checks.

But an FAO doesn't have to include details of specified contact arrangements. Equally, if concerns about contact came up during a Specific Issue hearing, the court could and would address them.

From my experience, I'd say the actual route you take/ forms you fill in to get a hearing in family court do not necessarily define the outcomes.

Fourormore Tue 16-Aug-16 15:19:24

You can have an order that gives you general permission. My DH has one. He isn't the resident parent. It just says that both parents can take the children out of the country for holidays during the time that the child is to be with that parent, and that neither parent can book a holiday across time that is supposed to be spent with the other parent without written permission.

Noregrets78 Tue 16-Aug-16 17:33:29

That's really helpful, thanks both. I presume the order giving general permission is backed up by something else which clarifies residency and contact? I have nothing else formal in place. So the courts may struggle to say 'yes you can take her on holiday' when other issues remain unresolved.

Meaning I think I may need a Child Arrangement Order. At least I'd then know where I stood.

It's really quite straightforward given her lack of contact with him. But he would fight me tooth and nail just to be difficult. Happy days! Thank you for your help.

Noregrets78 Tue 16-Aug-16 23:11:09

I know legally I'm supposed to sort this out. But in reality - is there any risk? We'll have return flights booked, and have no ties to the country. We're blatantly on holiday only, and DD can confirm that. Really - what's the chances of us actually having an issue at the border? Or am I trying to solve a problem which isn't really there?

TimeforaNNChange Tue 16-Aug-16 23:40:55

I don't think the risk in terms of "likelihood" is very high, but the consequences if that (small) likelihood actually happen are very significant.

At the "least worse" end of the spectrum, there is the risk that you will be refused entry (particularly to Canada, I understand) or temporarily detained at the border either on arrival or departure. That may result in missed flights, inconvenience, expense and distress.

But, when things start to get really complex and "worse" is if something unexpected were to happen while you are on holiday. An accident or illness. Or Something that results in you becoming separated, maybe. The chance of it happening is very small, but if it does happen, then the consequences would be huge. There may be a need for legal and perhaps embassy involvement. It's likely that any insurance you have wouldn't cover you, because you will have taken her out of the U.K. "Illegally". You may be kept apart for a period of time. Child protection services may be involved. Yes, it's very unlikely, but if it does happen, it will leave a permanent imprint on your lives.

Only you know If that risk is worth it compared to the imprint that will be left by seeking court involvement.

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