5 most frequently asked questions by parents who are separated
1. How long can I take my children on holidays for?
With the other parent’s consent, you can take the children for as long as agreed
Without the other parent’s consent, were either parent or both parents hold a Residence Order, the children can only be taken out of the United Kingdom for up to 28 days provided this does not affect the other parent’s scheduled contact.
Without the other parent’s consent, were there are no Orders, you will need to seek an Order from the Court for specified Holiday contact
2. Can I change my children’s names?
Yes if you are the Mother and the child’s Father is not recorded on the birth certificate – please contact your local General Registry Office for further details
No if you are the Mother and the child’s Father is recorded on the birth certificate – you will need either the Father’s permission or a court Order to permit any changes.
3. Do I have parental responsibility?
Yes if you are the Mother
Yes if you are the Father and recorded on the child’s birth certificate
No if you are the Father and not recorded on the child’s birth certificate – you will have to apply to the Court for a Parental Responsibility Order. Only Fathers/Step Fathers can apply for this Order.
4. What can I get with parental responsibility?
This is simply a Right to be updated and informed. It allows you to access information about your child from professionals (e.g schools and doctors) directly. It also encourages Mothers to discuss with Fathers important events in a child’s life (e.g First Communion/Baptism, school selection etc)
5. Do I always have to go to Court to get contact/residence
Not necessarily. Our laws under the Children (NI) Order 1995 encourage parents to come to agreements regarding the children and a Court Order is seen as a last resort and only when in the interests of the child.