It is always advisable to obtain written consent from the father/mother of the child prior to travelling abroad. This will be helpful when you arrive at your destination to show that the child has not been unlawfully removed from the country. You should provide the other parent information such as proposed travel dates, contact details for the child whilst they are away and travel insurance information. If the other parent unreasonably refuses to consent the holiday (ie if they simply say no without good reason), an application can be made to the court for a Specific Issue Order to determine this matter. Often details are required stating where the child will be staying, the date of departure and return, flight information and contact telephone numbers.
If you are separated from the other parent, you may need their consent prior to taking your children abroad depending on whether any court orders, child arrangement orders or residence orders are in place.
If you have a “Live With” child arrangement order and parental responsibility, you can take your child out of the country for up to 28 days. However, if the other parent has a contact order in place, you must ensure that doing so does not breach that contact order. Therefore, it is advisable in that circumstance to obtain express consent from the other parent to change that contact. One solution would be to provide alternative dates for that parent to have contact whilst you are away with the child. For example, if the other parent has 1 overnight contact per week and you wish to take the child abroad on holiday for 3 weeks, you can propose that on return those 3 nights that the child missed can be rescheduled for another mutually convenient week. This will ensure that the child does not miss out on contact with the other parent.
If you want to take the child for a longer period and your ex refuses consent, an application can be made to the court.
If you attempt to take your child abroad without permission or without following the correct procedure, you could face criminal charges for child abduction. It is a criminal offence to unlawfully remove a child from the jurisdiction.
You can find out more about reporting this to the police here: https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/missing-person/missing-persons/parental-child-abduction/
If you need advice on taking your child abroad or obtaining you ex’s permission, feel free to get in touch with me on firstname.lastname@example.org