We have now come to the end of the summer holiday period in the UK and for some couples, this time may well have been testing on their relationship.

For many, a holiday with the family is a fun a relaxing time. A chance to leave the stresses of work behind and focus on what matters most. However, for couples already in strained relationships, the ‘forced’ time together during a holiday can exaggerate the issues between them. If there are children in the family, additional stresses can be placed on the couple as they juggle work and home life so their children are looked after whilst not at school.

The financial cost of holidays

One of the most common reasons why couples separate is ‘money’. This could relate to a lack of finances in the relationship, or it could simply be disputes about how the couples’ money is spent.  One example of this is the family summer holiday – typically not an insignificant expenditure.

For many of us, the most expensive time to go on holiday is the July-August period.  Add to this the ever increasing cost of holidays generally, and a 2 week break abroad for a whole family can appear extortionate. The economy’s impact on jobs and earnings means that some couples simply won’t be able to afford the type of holiday they once could. Or, possibly worse still, they will get into debt in order to take the holiday they desire.

Whether a couple chooses not to go on holiday or they choose a lesser holiday or they choose to overstretch themselves financially in order to go on holiday, these situations can place exaggerated pressures on the relationship.

Taking the children abroad

In some cases, a couple may have chosen to split before the holiday period started.  The concern here for some parents is what happens if their spouse then wants to take the children abroad?  Can they do this without permission?

In short, if the parents are married and have children together, then both have what is known as ‘parental responsibility’.  The parent that is taking the children abroad should therefore seek the approval of their spouse.  However, if one of the parents has a ‘Residence Order’ entitling the children to live with them, that parent is able to take the children out of the country (or ‘jurisdiction’) for up to four weeks without anyone else’s consent.

If a child is resident with one parent, but a Residence Order has not been obtained, the ‘parent-with-child’ must still seek the permission of the other parent, no matter how long they plan to be abroad.


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