Child Relocation

Child Relocation

A parent wishing to relocate abroad must have the consent of the other parent, or permission from the court. The travelling parent could be guilty of child abduction which is a criminal offence if consent has not been given from the other parent or permission from the court has not been granted.

An application for a court order must be made to prevent another parent relocating to another part of the UK. If your child is living with the other parent and there have been threats to relocate the child without your consent imminently, it may be necessary to make an emergency application to court.

We can assist with both applications for permission to permanently relocate, and opposing applications for parents on the receiving end of relocation requests, within the UK or abroad.

The parent wishing to relocate may be with a new partner. The other parent may not want to accept having less contact with their child. There can be concerns about how parents will share travel, and loosing connection with one parents’ family members. Religious identity and education can be adversely affected. There are many issues to be balanced which can be very stressful for parents to deal with.

What will the court consider in making its decision?

The court will consider whether the application is genuine, or motivated by a selfish desire to exclude the other parent from the child’s life. The court will assess whether the application is realistic, based on practical proposals which are well researched and investigated.

The court will consider the following in deciding whether an application is genuine and realistic:

  • Is the opposition motivated by genuine concern for the future of the child’s welfare or is it driven by some ulterior motive?
  • What would be the extent of the detriment to the left behind parent and their future relationship with the child, if the application was granted?
  • To what extent might that be offset by extension of the child’s relationship with the maternal family and homeland?
  • What would be the impact on the applicant either as a single parent or as a new wife/husband of a refusal of the application to relocate?

The child’s welfare will be the courts the paramount consideration. The court must also have particular regard to the “welfare checklist” set out in section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989:

  1. The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child (considered in light of her age and understanding)
  2. Her physical, emotional and educational needs
  3. The likely effect of any change in her circumstances
  4. Her age, sex, background and any characteristics of hers which the Court considers relevant
  5. Any harm which she has suffered or is at risk of suffering
  6. How capable each of her parents and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question to be relevant is of meeting her needs

Our advice

Child relocation is a specialist area of law. If you are considering making an application or you want to prevent another parent relocating, this requires a solicitor who has strong expertise. We can assist you with the special planning required and the evidence you will need, to increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Why Adam Bernard Solicitors?

  • Our family department has numerous years of experience in handling matters related to child relocation.
  • Our experience has ensured that we have developed a sensitive approach to handling such cases that ensures your needs are at the forefront of our considerations and you feel supported throughout the whole process.
  • The successes of numerous clients that we have ensured achieve the results they desire, evidenced through our client testimonies, shows our ability in navigating this area of law.
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