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Child Relocation

Child Relocation

If one parent wishes to relocate overseas with a child following the breakdown of a relationship, it is very often heart rending for all concerned and can have drastic implications for the whole family.  It is this dilemma that makes such cases emotive and incredibly difficult.

Such cases often arise because the parent with care of a child wants to return to their home country, or move to a different country because of other reasons, such as a new relationship or job.

What is involved?

Where a residence order is in place, a child may not be taken out of the country for more than four weeks without the consent of all people with parental responsibility or permission of the court.  If no residence order is in force a child cannot be removed at all without the permission of all people with parental responsibility or the permission of the court.

If you are caring for a child and wish to move abroad with the child, you should first talk to the other parent to see if some kind of agreement can be reached.  Removing a child from his or her country of residence without proper consent may amount to child abduction which is a criminal offence.

If an agreement is not possible, then we can assist you by making an application to court for permission to relocate abroad. When a court considers such an application the welfare of the child concerned will be of paramount importance.  The court will want to ensure that the proposed arrangements are reasonable and will meet all of the child’s needs.  The court will also consider whether there is an opportunity for continuing contact.

The court will aim to balance the needs of the parent with care, wishing to move abroad, against the effect on the relationship between the child and the parent left behind.  If you are planning to make an application to relocate abroad then you must ensure that your plans are clear, practical and well considered and involve on-going contact with the parent left behind.

Where a child is permitted to relocate abroad, whether by agreement or court order it is important to consider what the actual contact arrangements will be and whether such arrangements will be safe and secure and have a realistic chance of being maintained.

Why we are different

Our family solicitors have acted for a number of clients, including parents wishing to relocate and parents opposing such applications.  You can rely on us to handle your case with expertise and sensitivity.

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