Q: I am separated from my wife and would like to take our children away this summer on holiday; do I need permission from her to travel?
A: If there are no court orders in place relating to the arrangements of the children then it is best practice for parents to try and agree dates for holidays in advance, particularly if any holiday you want to arrange conflicts with the time that the children should be with the other parent. If there is disagreement then there are alternative dispute resolution methods you can try, but ultimately if there remains a dispute then the court can be used as a last resort, and orders obtained.
If there is already a child arrangements order in place stating that a child lives with a parent; this then provides permission to take the child abroad without needing to obtain consent of the other parent for a period of up to 28 days.
It is highly recommended that you do seek agreement from the other parent before you book, particularly a holiday aboard. We would also advise that you obtain the agreement from the other parent in writing, even though the law does not specifically require it, and take this with you so that you may show it to any relevant authorities should the need arise.
They are perfectly entitled to expect you to provide details of the holiday, including exact dates, flight numbers, and accommodation information. Clear communication about the itineraries, contact details and knowledge e.g. the children's swimming ability or what sun factor they will need, will help put both parents at ease. You should also aim to keep in regular contact during the holiday, even if it's just a quick call or a text.