Travelling abroad with children after a separation has some rules and regulations that you need to be aware of. A whopping 42% of marriages in the UK end in divorce or separation, making it an essential subject to consider, especially when you intend to travel outside the UK with your children. It is a criminal offence to travel with your children without the other parent’s consent, as an ex-spouse with parental responsibility has rights over the children. Indeed, there are legal implications, which you will be reading about on this page.

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Advice on travelling abroad with children after a separation

holiday abroad with kids as a single parent

Parental Concerns of abduction with travelling abroad with children after a separation or divorce.

Various governments have enforced strict rules to reduce child abductions in the UK and other nations. This is important for separated parents whose children are in the custody of one party. There is always the fear of children not returning either out of spite or sheer cruelty. However, you shouldn’t use your child or children as tools to spite your partner. 

If you flout the laws when travelling abroad with children after a separation, you will face repercussions. This is why the UK makes it mandatory to seek the other parent’s consent before leaving the country for an agreed period. This is more imperative when the children hold British citizenship. Whatever differences exist between you, and your separated spouse should never negatively impact the parental responsibilities of either party.

Did you know that to take a child into or out of South Africa requires a number of documents including the child’s birth certificate, consent from both parents, and in the case of a holiday, proof of return flights. Don’t make the mistake of not having your paperwork in place before you go on holiday to South Africa with your children as you will be denied entry on holiday. Even if you are travelling together with your child/children you will be required to produce their birth certificates naming both parents. Please see the South African government website for up to date information.


Relocating abroad with children after separation

If you are moving out of the UK and relocating abroad with your primary school-aged children, you will need the other parent’s permission or a court order to do so. Relocation may be a permanent decision and is more critical when the child is above seven years and in primary school. If this is a situation you’re faced with, you need excellent legal representation to justify why your children must relocate with you as the primary parent.

You have to prove to the court why you should be granted a leave to remove. Indeed, the opposing parent has legal options to explore in proving to the court why the children should not be relocated. However, in filing for opposing relocation applications, the other parent is tasked with assessing all areas of the child’s life. Additionally, the opposing party would prove what else they can offer the child if the court decides to grant their wish.

Be patient with the processes

You might be a bundle of nerves after going through a separation and awaiting the final divorce. However, your ex may try to put a stop to your plans of travelling abroad, which is more than enough to drive you over the edge. Your best decision when involved in a situation like that is tolerance and composure. Tolerance for the system and the legal processes involved is what you need to remain calm.

Remember that the psychological and emotional state of both parties is paramount when the court is involved. The last thing you need at this point is to show the tiniest bit of intolerance. If you lose your composure, you may likely impact the court’s decision to grant you the order to travel abroad with your child. Therefore, it’s best to keep your mind calm throughout the process.