Going on a holiday with your children this summer? Don't forget the authorisation form

Going on a holiday with your children this summer? Don't forget the authorisation form

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This summer is hopefully a summer in which people can and will go on holiday again. If you intend to go on a holiday with your children, then please keep in mind that you need permission from the other parent with parental authority. Sophie Vermeule, from GMW lawyers, explains why and when you need permission from the other parent, so nothing can stop you from catching your flight!

Parental authority in the Netherlands

Every 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 or a registered partnership. If you are not married, the mother has sole parental authority. The father can be given parental authority after this has been registered in the parental authority register with consent from the mother or by a court decision.

If your children were born abroad, but you now live in the Netherlands; do you (still) have parental authority?

If you have already obtained parental authority abroad, but did not have a registered partnership or marriage with the mother, you will retain parental authority when moving to the Netherlands. If you have not obtained parental authority abroad, but you would have had parental authority according to Dutch law, then you will acquire parental authority when you move to the Netherlands.

If guardianship or parental authority has been established by a foreign judicial decision, the 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. If the Netherlands does not have a treaty with the country in question, you may have to submit a new application to the court in the Netherlands.

Check out this article for more information about parental authority in the Netherlands.

What does joint parental authority mean?

Joint parental authority in the Netherlands means that parents must make joint decisions about matters that relate to the child’s life and person.

Thus, if both parents have parental authority over the child, they will also have to give each other permission for going on a holiday with the child.

Permission for travelling abroad

The parent who travels abroad with the children needs to demonstrate that they have permission from the other parent with parental authority. Travelling without this permission could be considered 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 or if the parents with joint parental authority go on holiday together.

What do I need?

Permission for travel is granted by completing the “Permission to travel abroad with a minor”, which you can find via this link. This form must also be accompanied by a copy of the ID of the parent(s) with parental authority, as well as an international excerpt from the municipal personal records database (BRP) of the child that contains the details of the parent.

Do you have any questions about travelling abroad with children and need some advice relating to your personal situation? 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. Her work includes complex national and international divorce cases, custody and contact issues, and alimony...

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