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Can I get permission from the judge for future vacations with my minor children?

reading time 3 minutes published on 06 October 2021

When there is joint parental authority this means that you cannot go abroad with your minor child(ren) without the permission of your ex-partner. This permission must be given in writing using a form. This form can be downloaded via this link.

For a detailed explanation of when permission from your ex-partner is and is not needed, I refer you to an earlier blog of mine.

What if my ex-partner does not give permission?

If your ex-partner does not want to give permission for your planned vacation, you can go to court and ask for substitute permission. I have covered how this works in a previous blog.

As long as there are no compelling reasons for your ex-partner not to want to give permission (e.g. you are travelling to an unsafe country or your children have to be in the Netherlands at the same time for another important obligation), most judges will tend to grant the substitute permission. Of course, in doing so you should send your ex-partner all the necessary information about the vacation prior to departure, so that he/she knows where the children are staying.

Do the vacation plans need to be completely finalized already?

It is important that you can clearly indicate for which vacation you would like permission. The destination but also the time period must be sufficiently clear. The District Court of Oost-Brabant, location ‘s-Hertogenbosch recently ruled (10 September 2021, ECLI:NL:RBOBR:2021:4844) that a request from one parent for a vacation was rejected because the plans were insufficiently clear. The parent who made the request had taken a time period of more than 1.5 months within which the vacation should take place, at a time to be determined by that parent to a yet to be determined country outside the Netherlands, and possibly even outside Europe. The judge found this insufficiently clear.

Is a vacation abroad during corona possible?

The judge under certain circumstances can also give substitute permission for a vacation during the corona crisis. For example, last summer (9 July 2021, ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2021:7247) the District Court of The Hague gave a parent substitute permission to travel abroad with the children during the summer vacations. The condition for this permission was that the country the parent wished to travel to had a yellow or green colour code on the day of departure and the other parent would be informed about the destination country including the travel details before departure.

A question I am frequently asked is whether it is necessary to get permission from the ex-partner again for every vacation. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal of ‘s-Hertogenbosch (8 April 2021, ECLI:NL:GHSHE:2021:1053) ruled that it is not possible to obtain a continuous and unrestricted permission from the judge to go on vacation within the Schengen zone with a minor. This is because the other parent has the right to receive prior information about the planned vacation and travel destination, so after this that parent can give the necessary permission.

The answer to the above mentioned question is therefore: yes. This can be frustrating when your ex-partner repeatedly refuses to give permission for your vacation with the children, but you have no other option than to turn to the courts again and again. 

Do you want to get permission for a vacation?

Do you have a problem with your planned vacation abroad with your children? Please feel free to contact me to discuss whether I can be of help. This does not always require legal proceedings; a letter from a lawyer to your ex-partner could also result in permission being granted after all.

Do you have a question or remark you would like to share with us? Leave a message.