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Can I Stop My Ex-Partner Taking Our Child on Holiday Because of the Coronavirus?

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In the run up to the Easter and summer holidays we look at whether you can stop your ex-partner taking your child on holiday because of your worries about the coronavirus.

Across the country there are arguments raging over just how serious the coronavirus is and what we should be doing to protect our children. The risk to children from the coronavirus is said to be very low but the thought of your ex taking your children overseas during a pandemic and the children being quarantined away from you can be hard to contemplate.  Many parents who live together have different views on the coronavirus risks and safeguarding measures needed. Imagine how much harder it is if you are separated from your partner and you think that their attitude towards the coronavirus is blasé and could put your children at greater risk.

London children law solicitors

If you need help and advice about whether your ex-partner can take your child away on holiday or any other aspect of family and children law then the friendly and approachable team of children lawyers at OTS Solicitors can help you. Call us on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

Can I stop my ex taking our child on holiday because of coronavirus?

The answer to the question ‘’Can I stop my ex taking our child on holiday because of coronavirus?’’ is sadly not as clear cut as you would like as the answer is ‘‘maybe’’. That is because so much depends on:

  • What children court orders are already in force (if any)
  • Where the holiday is going to take place (Is it in the UK or overseas and is the country one where there is a significant outbreak of coronavirus and what is the health service like in that country)
  • Do you have any specific concerns, for example, does your child have asthma or an underlying medical condition?

If you are worried about your ex-partner taking your child on holiday over Easter or the summer holidays then even if you have already said yes to the holiday it is best to raise the subject and discuss your concerns about coronavirus and your worries for your child.

Prior to raising the subject of holidays and coronavirus with your ex-partner it is as well to think about:

  • Have you already booked an Easter break or summer holiday? Are you planning to cancel your own holiday or do your worries relate to the timing of your ex-partner’s holiday or the location of the holiday or other risk factors, such as your ex-partner’s views on hand washing and hygiene
  • Has your ex-partner already paid for the holiday? If it is non-refundable can you afford to offer to contribute?
  • If your ex-partner cancels the holiday are you comfortable with the children staying at his/her home or going away within the UK or are your fears such that you want the children with you?
  • Are there any assurances that your ex-partner could give you to make you less worried about the risks of coronavirus to your children whilst on holiday? For example, would you be reassured if your ex-partner said he /she would not take the children into crowded areas during the holiday
  • Are your fears and worries about the holiday justified? For example, if you live in London is a trip to Devon or Cornwall and fresh air better for the children rather than staying in London?

London children solicitors say that it is best to sit down and analyse your worries before you speak to an ex-partner about their holiday plans. That way you can present your worries clearly and can have researched your concerns. It may help to speak to your family or to a children law solicitor before speaking to your ex-partner. Most importantly, it is vital that your concerns are focussed on the children’s welfare and health to try and avoid the reaction ‘’ You just don’t want me to go on holiday with the kids’’ or ‘’You are raising the holiday out of spite because you can't afford to take the children to India’’.

Coronavirus and cancelling your children’s holiday 

If you think that you won't be able to reach an agreement with your ex-partner over their holiday plans with the children then you will want to know the legal position and whether you can stop your child going on holiday with your ex-partner.

The answer to whether you can stop your ex taking your child on holiday, and whether you will need to go to court to get an order, depends on:

  • Whether there is a child arrangements order in place (you may refer to this type of order as a custody order or a residence order). A child arrangements order should say what the living and contact arrangements are for a child. The parent that the child lives with under a child arrangements order can take a child out of the UK for a holiday for up to four weeks without needing the other parent’s agreement or a court order. If you are not the residential parent in the child arrangements order and the order is silent about taking the child being taken overseas on holiday then that parent will need to other parent’s agreement to a foreign holiday or a court order
  • Whether there is a specific issue order in place that authorises you or your ex-partner to go on the specific holiday or gives general permission for them to take the children on holiday overseas each year for a specified period.

Even if there is a court order in place that you thinks allows your ex-partner to take your children away on holiday it is best to take legal advice on your options. That is because a children law solicitor may advise you to apply back to court to cancel or vary the order so the specific holiday can't take place.

Furthermore, the wording of children court orders aren’t always as clear as they could be so don’t be embarrassed to ask a children law solicitor about exactly what a child arrangements order means and if you can stop the holiday because of your coronavirus worries.

Don’t forget that if you are worried that your ex-partner will just take the  children on holiday without your agreement or a court order then you could potentially apply to the court for a prohibited steps order to prevent your ex taking your child on holiday.

Should I object to my child going on holiday because of coronavirus?

As a parent only you can decide on what you think is best for your child. However, the child’s other parent will have a view and if the two of you can't reach an agreement the court can step in and make an order.

When a family judge decides whether a child can be taken away on holiday by a parent the judge will look at the child’s best interests and assess the risks and benefits of the holiday. Sadly, whether you are living with your partner, husband or wife or you are separated from them this is a debate that will be taking place in many homes as parents weigh up what is best for their children.

London children law solicitors 

For advice and information on any aspect of children law after a separation or divorce  or representation in child arrangements order and specific issue order proceedings our specialist family and children law team at OTS Solicitors can help you reach a resolution.

Call us on 0203 959 9123 or click here and complete our online enquiry form.

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