Relocating With Children

Are you wanting to relocate outside of England with your child following a separation?

1. By leaving the country without the consent of the other parent, you could be committing a criminal offence. It could be child abduction. If you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent, you should apply to court for permission – this is called a Specific Issue Order

If you leave the jurisdiction without the consent of the other parent, you are likely to become embroiled in abduction proceedings. You should seek permission from the court to relocate. Mediation is an option to consider.

2. The court will only allow an order if it is in the child’s best interests. The welfare of the child is the court’s paramount consideration

The court will only grant permission to relocate if it can be proven that the relocation is in the child’s best interests. The court will apply the welfare checklist which includes wishes and feelings of the child, their age, their needs etc. This is not an extensive list.

3. Motivation for the relocation is key. Careful planning is needed to demonstrate thought has gone into this, and that it is a clear plan.

It must be demonstrated to the court that there is a genuine motivation to relocate, and this is not an application in an attempt to remove the involvement of the other parent from the child’s life. A case will only be successful if a true motivation can be demonstrated with careful planning, thorough investigation and evidence.

4. It is extremely beneficial to be able to establish continued involvement of the other parent. Put together a contact plan.

The court will expect to see a generous and practical proposal in relation to contact. This can include costs of travel, accommodation, frequency etc. This is very important in any relocation application. The court need to be convinced that contact can be maintained at a reasonable level with the other parent. Contact plans should include proposals for direct and indirect contact.

5. Can you prove you have considering living arrangements, income, schooling, support and all the practicalities surrounding the move? This is essential.

The court will want to see clear evidence that you have considered all practical arrangements. Evidence will need to be produced in relation to schooling, employment and income. It is also important to demonstrate what support you will have in the country you seek to relocate to for example family / friends. Show a true connection to that country.

Contact us, we are here to help

It is always advisable to speak with a specialist before making any court application to ensure you have the best opportunity in succeeding. At MSB, we have specialists who can assist you. Legal Aid is also available in some circumstances for relocation proceedings.