The summer holidays are coming up again. For divorced parents, going on holiday can be complicated if the ex-partner who also has custody does not give permission for the children to go abroad. If you go anyway, you are in principle guilty of an offence.
When you and your ex-partner have joint custody of your child, you have to ask the other parent for permission to go on holiday and also inform the other parent about the destination and duration of the holiday. To do this, you can fill in and sign the form 'permission to travel abroad with a minor'. You can find this form on the website of the Rijksoverheid.
If the other parent does not give permission, you cannot just go because you would be removing the child from the parental authority. You can get into trouble at customs and run the risk of being prosecuted for child abduction. If you do not want to leave it at that, you have the option of going to court and asking for permission to be replaced. The permission of your ex is then no longer necessary as the judge has granted permission. It is also possible to request the surrender of the passport. Bear in mind that you will need a lawyer for this and that you will need to arrange this well in advance as this type of procedure takes quite some time. If there is an urgent interest, there is also the possibility of starting summary proceedings. This too usually takes a number of weeks.
The judge looks at the interests of the child and weighs up the risk that the child will not return after the holiday. The judge will look at family ties abroad, a new partner abroad, permanent ties in the Netherlands such as a job and a house to buy, etc.
Withholding permission from a parent is not justified in most cases and is often only a way of frustrating the other parent. Withholding permission can be reasonable when there are certain safety risks, such as travelling to countries with a negative travel advice (for example because of Corona), when there is a medical indication for the child or when there is a risk of child abduction.
If you are the only parent with custody, you do not need permission from the other parent if you want to go on holiday with your child. It is important that you can prove that you are the only parent with custody. This can be done with an international excerpt from the municipal personal records database, an excerpt from the parental authority register or a judgment concerning the parental authority.
Do you have any questions or need advice about substitute consent or exercising parental authority? Then please contact us without any obligation. We will be happy to be of service.