Going on holiday with the children as a divorced parent

Published by: Rebecca Weisz-Hertsworm posted on 11 July 2022 reading time

We have enjoyed the first rays of sunshine and the start of the holiday season is in sight. The children are counting down. The school musical was a success and Group 8 has been sent off. Also on the work floor the necessary preparations are being made. Work is transferred, the absence notification system is switched on and colleagues are wished a happy holiday. What does the holiday mean for the parent who is divorced? And what does this parent need to take into account?

Agreements on distribution

A parenting plan often includes agreements on the division of holidays and holiday days. From these agreements follows when the children are with a parent. Discuss parenthood with the children in advance so that their wishes and resistance can be taken into account. The separated parents and children then know where they stand before the holiday. Jointly made agreements have more support than imposed agreements.

If nothing has been agreed or if a parent wants to agree otherwise, parents will have to consult with each other. Planning a holiday and booking a trip can be difficult, especially when it comes to the desired period and costs. It is therefore important to consult with each other in time.

But what if the agreement is not accepted by your child? Three weeks with one parent and without the other, for example, requires a lot of flexibility and acceptance from a minor child. In addition, many children find it difficult to accept that their parents are no longer together. By providing support as parents, setting boundaries and being clear, a child can be helped on the road to acceptance.

Holiday abroad booked. And now?

A passport or identity card is required for travel abroad, and this is no different for children. This travel document can be applied for in the municipality where the child is registered. Permission from the parent(s) in authority is required to apply for the travel document. An exception applies to applying for an identity card for a child between the ages of 12 and 18, for which the permission of one parent is sufficient.

Not only is permission required for applying for a travel document, but permission is also required from the parents with custody for each trip abroad with an underage child. A lack of permission to travel constitutes withdrawal of the child from the parental authority of the other parent. The permission form can be used to give permission.

If a parent refuses to grant permission to apply for a travel document or to travel abroad, substitute permission can be requested from the court. Although this is an accelerated procedure, it is advisable not to ask for permission last minute in order to prevent a holiday from being ruined.

No permission is needed if a parent has sole parental authority. Even in this situation it is possible that additional documents are needed for a trip abroad, such as an excerpt from the parental authority register. For example to prove that there is no other parent with custody. If you want to know if and which documents might be needed, please contact the embassy or consulate of the country of your destination.

Good preparation is half the battle. Be prepared when you go on holiday alone with your child as a separated parent. Want to know more? Please feel free to contact us.