Vacationing alone with children? Don’t forget the consent of the other parent!

Summer vacation officially began today in the middle of the country. With that, it is also time for many to pack their bags for a...

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Summer vacation officially began today in the middle of the country. With that, it is also time for many to pack their bags for a vacation in or abroad. If you are traveling with children, don’t forget the consent forms. In fact, if one parent travels abroad with his or her child(ren), the other custodial parent must give permission. This is to reduce the risk of child abduction. In the case of shared custody with an ex-partner, this turns out to be a point of contention quite often,

Consent must be given via a consent form found at But what if the other custodial parent does not want to grant this consent? Then there is the possibility of asking the court for substitute consent. So too in this case at the court in Leeuwarden. The mother wanted to travel to Turkey for a family visit. The father disagreed with this trip, in part because he feared the mother would not return and because he thought Turkey was too dangerous a travel destination. The mother asked the court for substitute permission to travel to Turkey. It is up to the judge to make a balancing of interests, putting the child’s best interests first.

First, this ruling tested the risk of child abduction. The judge did not consider the likelihood that the woman would not return to the Netherlands plausible. The woman had expressed a desire to build her life in the Netherlands and begin an education. Not returning to the Netherlands would also jeopardize her residence permit. In addition, Turkey is a member of the Hague Convention on Child Abduction. If she chose not to return, the child would still be brought to the Netherlands and the woman would be prosecuted for child abduction.

Next, destination safety was considered. The judge did not assume that the travel destination Turkey was too unsafe as such. However, the corona rules in place at the time were considered. On this, it was decided that for security reasons, the mother could only travel to Turkey if there was a green or yellow travel advisory in effect on the day of departure.

The court found the man’s objections insufficient to withhold permission for the trip. The judge deemed it in the child’s best interest to go to visit family in Turkey. This allowed the child to further build and strengthen family relationships in Turkey. So the woman was given substitute permission to take the child on vacation.

Want to go on vacation abroad with your child(ren). Then always and on time make sure you have permission and the proper paperwork. If, as a result of this article, you have questions about (substitute) consent for a foreign vacation, please contact one of our family law attorneys.