Specific Issue Order Granted for Holiday Abroad with Child

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A Family Law Case Study – Client Situation

Mr C had separated from his wife and they were divorced. They agreed to share the care of their young daughter, which meant they looked after her equally, without a Court Order.

They had always shared their holidays, often going overseas and each spending a few weeks with their daughter. This year, Mr C decided he wanted to take his daughter on holiday abroad for a 2 week period and asked his ex-wife’s permission.

She refused to allow the child to go on holiday abroad without any reason.

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How We Helped

Mr C contacted our Family and Child Law Solicitors for legal advice on what he could do in the circumstances. One of our Family Solicitors advised Mr C that he needed to make an application to the Court for a Specific Issue Order. This is a Court Order where the Court makes a decision about a specific issue concerning a child.

Unfortunately, Mr C did not have much time left to before the holiday was due to start. Mr C and his daughter were booked to leave in three weeks’ time, so it was important that our Family Law Solicitor acted quickly.

Firstly we explained to Mr C that any legal action he took could fail. Due to the very tight time constraints, it may not be possible to get an urgent Hearing with the Family Court to try to get a Specific Issue Order issued. If we couldn’t arrange a Court Hearing in time, Mr C couldn’t take his daughter with him on holiday. 

In addition, if Mr C’s ex-wife shared concerns in Court about her daughter’s safety because of the location of the holiday or that there was a risk that Mr C might be trying to abduct their daughter, the Court could refuse to make an order urgently because they wouldn’t want to put the child at risk.

Even though Mr C accepted that applying for a Specific Issue Order may not work out, he still wanted to try.

We applied for an urgent Court Hearing date. In the meantime, she asked Mr C to provide all travel arrangements, hotel bookings and anything else that showed their travel plans over the 2 week holiday.

This would all act as evidence for the Judge to demonstrate that there should be no concerns about Mr C taking his son abroad for any other reason than for a holiday.

We also used some text messages from Mr C’s ex-wife as evidence at the Hearing as they showed that there were no issues being raised by her about the safety of her daughter. The texts simply said that Mr C was not allowed to take their daughter on this holiday due to this inconsistent decision.

The Outcome

Our Family and Child Law Solicitors secured an urgent Court Hearing, only 5 days before Mr C’s holiday. Mr C, his ex-wife and the Judge all worked together to try to reach an agreement that it was OK for Mr C and his daughter to go on holiday together.

The Judge took the time to understand Mr C’s ex-wife’s issues and also factored in the evidence Mr C produced to show that they had definite plans in place and that there were no risks to their daughter.

Mr C was delighted that his Specific Issue Order application was successful and he was allowed to take his daughter out of the UK to go on holiday as planned.

If you’re facing issues with your ex-partner over taking your child on holiday with you abroad, we can help you.

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