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Coronavirus: Should my children travel abroad?

Published on 12 March 2020 | Modified on 14 December 2022

Written by Stacey Bennett

With the school holiday’s fast approaching, many families or ex-partners have plans to go abroad with their children. However, as the coronavirus continues to dominate the news, many parents are concerned about children going abroad.

If a parent wishes to travel abroad with a child, they require the other parent’s consent – whether the parents are separated or not. If consent is not forthcoming, the matter may need to be determined by the Court.

Current Advice for travelling abroad with children

There are some countries and areas where there is a higher chance of coming into contact with someone with coronavirus.

If you or the other parent are planning to take your child abroad, it is important to check the country by country travel advice on the website, this will provide you with the most up-to-date travel advice.

It is also important to ensure that you are aware of any travel advice being provided by the airline and whether they are planning to restrict flights in and out of countries.

Is a Court Application necessary to take a child abroad?

Some parents are considering making applications to the Family Court in respect of their concerns of a child being taken abroad.

In some instances, the parent that has planned the holiday may want to take their child abroad to an area which has been affected and the other parent may wish to stop this from happening.

Consent may be reasonably withheld if a parent intends to travel to a Category 1 Country due to the potential risks.

In the above scenario (and indeed when any application to the court is made) the Court must take into account a checklist of factors when decided what is in the child’s best interests. Legitimate concerns regarding the child’s welfare caused by potential travel will be a significant factor the court will consider. If the proposed travel is to a Category 1 country then this is bound to be a factor that could cause a court to decide it is not in the child’s best interests to travel abroad to that country.

No one really knows how it will play out but the impact of the coronavirus may see some parents achieve a more favourable outcome in comparison to the other. In the meantime, we can only hope that the coronavirus outbreak is contained in near future and is relatively short-lived.

To speak with an expert please do contact our specialist Family Solicitors. Complete our contact us form here to get in touch.




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