29 June 2022

Going on a holiday with your children this summer?

By Sophie Vermeule

This summer (2022) is hopefully a summer in which many people can and will go on holiday again. Of course you do not want this holiday to suddenly not happen.

Please do not forget the authorisation form!

Do you intend to go on a holiday with your children this summer? Then please keep in mind that you need permission from the other parent with parental authority. In this blog I will explain why and when you need the permission from the other parent. Make sure to read this information carefully to make sure you won’t miss your flight!

Parental authority

Each country has its own rules for obtaining parental authority. Under Dutch law, parents automatically have joint parental authority if the child is born within the marriage. This also counts when the child is born within a registered partnership. If you are not married, the mother has sole parental authority. The father can be given parental authority. This should be registered in the parental authority register with consent of the mother or by a court decision.

But what if your children were born abroad, and you now live in The Netherlands; do you (still) have parental authority?

If you have already obtained parental authority abroad, you will retain parental authority when moving to The Netherlands. Also if you did not have a registered partnership or marriage with the mother. However, did you not obtain parental authority abroad, but would you have (had) parental authority according to Dutch law? Then you will acquire parental authority when you move to the Netherlands.

Has the guardianship or parental authority been established by a foreign judicial decision? Then this decision will not always be recognised in The Netherlands. In that case it needs to assessed whether The Netherlands has a treaty with the country in question. Does the Netherlands not have a treaty with the country in question? Then you may have to submit a new application to the court in the Netherlands.

For more information about parental authority in The Netherlands I kindly refer you to this article of my colleague Ms Lucienne Diaz Murillo.


What does joint parental authority mean?

Joint parental authority in The Netherlands means that parents must make joint decisions. Meaning that all decisions on all matters relating to the child’s life and person must be made in consultation. Thus, if both parents have parental authority over the child they will also have to give each other permission. Including when one of the parents wants to go on a holiday with the child.


Permission for travelling abroad

Do you want to travel abroad with the children? Then you need to demonstrate that you have permission from the other parent with parental authority. Travelling without this permission could be considered as child abduction. Filling in the authorisation form is in principle not necessary if a child goes on a holiday with a parent who has sole parental authority. This is neither necessary if the parents with joint parental authority go on holiday together.


What do I need?

Permission for travel is granted by completing the form ‘Permission to travel abroad with a minor’ which you can find via this link. (Clicking the link will automatically download the .pdf file). This form must also be accompanied by a copy of the ID of the parent(s) with parental authority. There should also be an international excerpt from the municipal personal records database (BRP) of the child included. This should contain the details of the parent.

Do you have any questions about travelling abroad with children and you need some advice relating to your personal situation? Then do not hesitate to get in touch with GMW Lawyers. Their experienced and professional team of English-speaking lawyers are always happy to help.

Sophie Vermeule

Sophie Vermeule


Sophie works as a lawyer within the Family & Inheritance law department of GMW lawyers.

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