Our Family Law solicitors are experienced in handling all manner of cases relating to children in a sensitive and child-focused manner.
Most parents assume that they are able to travel abroad with their child following separation or divorce. However, if you share parental responsibility for your child with another person, neither of you can take your child out of the Country for any purpose without the written consent of all those with parental responsibility or a Court Order giving you permission to do so. Failure to secure the appropriate written consent or the Court’s permission could amount to an offence under the Child Abduction Act 1984 and it is important therefore to secure advice to ensure no offences are being committed.
Sometimes following the end of a relationship, one parent will make the decision they want to start a new life abroad and take the children with them. This may be because they want to “go home” where they will have family, friends and a support network; it may be because they or a new partner or spouse has been offered employment abroad or it may be because they are seeking a better quality of life in another country.
Whether you are the parent looking to move abroad or are the parent who will remain in this country, we recognise that this will be an incredibly difficult time for you. Relocation cases are extremely complex which require sensitive handling and it is important that you seek legal advice from experienced child law solicitors at an early stage.
Moving Within The UK
Families move around the UK for a variety of reasons and when a relationship breaks down, one parent may decide they want to move away from their current home and take the children with them. We recognise that a move within the UK can sometimes be as disruptive to the children’s relationship with the parent who is not moving as it would be if the children were being moved abroad and cases require sensitive handling.
If the relocation means that the children will need to change schools or has an impact upon the arrangements for the children to spend time with the other parent, agreement will need to be reached with the other parent or, if an agreement cannot be reached, the arrangements will need to be determined by the Court.
Do we have to go to court?
If you are the parent seeking to take the child out of the Country for a holiday, you should provide as much information as possible about your plans to the others with parental responsibility and ask them to provide their written permission before the holiday is booked. If the permission is not given, you may need to consider an application to Court for an Order allowing you to take the child out of the Country.
Quite often these applications need to be made to the Court at short notice and unfortunately, there can be no guarantee the Court will have the capacity to hear an application relating to a holiday on an urgent basis.
If the children are moving abroad with the relocating parent and agreement is reached with the other parent, consideration should still be given to securing Court Orders relating to the relocation. Otherwise, if the agreement breaks down after the children have moved abroad, any dispute may then have to be resolved by the Courts in the country in which the children are living and the laws of that country may be significantly different to those of England and Wales.
If an agreement cannot be reached that the children should be permitted to move to a different part of the country; move abroad or about their arrangements to spend time with the other parent following their move, an application will need to be made to Court for Orders determining those arrangements. We will handle the proceedings in the most child-centred, cost effective and efficient way.
We can assist you in resolving any dispute that may arise about your child being taken out of the Country for the purposes of a holiday. We can offer options to resolve issues in a child-centred, non-controversial way and where appropriate, can adopt a collaborative approach, offer round-table meetings with assistance from other professionals or offer mediation. We can advise on arbitration, another form of non-Court dispute resolution.
If it does not prove possible to reach agreement through negotiation, we can deal with an application to Court for an Order giving you permission to remove your child or, if you are the parent opposing the holiday or move abroad, an application to Court for an Order preventing your child’s removal. If the application needs to be made at short notice, we can deal with matters urgently should the need arise.
Why choose Trethowans?
The hugely experienced and talented Family Team at Trethowans are proud to offer their clients first class advice and assistance in resolving issues in a child-focused manner.
“… the service always feels exceptionally personal, whilst remaining wholly professional. The Family Law Team is close-knit and there was always reliable continuity”.
The team are members of Resolution, which follows a Code of Practice to ensure that your personal circumstances are dealt with in the most dignified and constructive manner.
We offer a free initial 30-minute consultation to help you consider your options without obligation.
Our child law solicitors in Bournemouth, Poole, Salisbury, Southampton and Winchester are here to help. Please contact our solicitors to arrange a free 30 minute consultation or call us on 0800 2800 421.