Personal Law

Moving abroad with children

July 28, 2021

If you and your partner are separated or divorced and you have a child/children together, there will sometimes be issues which you may not completely agree on. 

Should one of you wish to move abroad with your child/ren but the other parent either cannot move with you or does not wish to, it can be a difficult situation to manage. 

In the first instance, should a parent wish to move abroad with a child/children, they will need to gain formal consent from the other parent to do it. If the consent cannot be obtained, they will have to seek and gain an Order from the Court.


Reasons for moving abroad with your child/children can include you or your ex-partner:

  • Returning ‘home’
  • Seeking or gaining a new job opportunity
  • Moving to be with your new partner
  • Seeking new opportunities to increase yours and your child’s quality of life.


What do I do if I want to move abroad with my child/children?

If you would like to move abroad with your child/children, it is important that you attempt to reach a formal written agreement with your ex-partner over your plans. 

Of course, you may not agree initially. In these cases, it’s imperative to take legal advice. Our expert solicitors are highly experienced in dealing with situations such as this and will be able to recommend a number of options for how to ensure an agreement can be reached with your ex-partner.


What do I need to consider if I want to move abroad with my child/children?

It’s important to think about whether the move is in the best interests of your child/children and it’s vital to understand any potential effects on them of the move. A Court would look at any perceived negative effects that the move may have on them.

Ensure you have a robust plan in place to manage and administer the move. It’s vital that you have appropriate accommodation in place before you travel, that you can demonstrate how you will financially support your child/children and that education arrangements are in place before the move.

Also consider what your support networks in the new home may look like. For example, do you know anyone where you are planning to move? Will there be appropriate childcare available?


Can I take my child abroad without consent of their other parent?

It is strongly recommended that you do not take your child/children abroad without the consent of their other parent. You would be deemed to have ‘abducted’ your child in the eyes of the law, measures would be made to reach you and bring your child/children back to the UK and can result in Court and criminal proceedings against you.


What do I do if my ex-partner wants to move abroad with my child/children?

The first step is to listen to their plans and understand the practicalities of their plan to move abroad. Consider the impact – positively or otherwise – that the plan will likely have on the wellbeing of your child/children.

It is suggested that you seek early legal advice to fully understand the implications of your child/children moving abroad, and what your options are, whether you consent to the move or not.


What happens if me and my ex-partner cannot reach an agreement?

If you cannot come to an agreement with your ex-partner, then you, or they, will need to make an application to Court to gain permission to move abroad. 

Once the application has been made, appropriate safeguarding checks will then be carried out by CAFCASS.

At a subsequent hearing, an agreement will be attempted to be sought. Witness statements from each parent and statements from the child/children may be gathered too. A final hearing will be heard where the Court will hear all evidence from the parties including the CAFCASS officer who would be appointed at an early stage to prepare a report  containing recommendations , what they feel would be in the child’s best interests and an Order will be made at the end.


Getting legal advice

Ensuring you have taken appropriate legal advice, before moving with your child/ren abroad, or if you are concerned about the other parent moving with them abroad, is vital from the very start.

We are  experienced in helping parents like you, whether you would like to move abroad, or whether you refuse  consent to a move outside of the UK.

The blogs, articles and any other material on this website is intended for general information purposes only and is not a substitute for full and proper legal advice. Jarmans Solicitors does not accept any responsibility for any loss resulting from any actions taken or omissions made in respect of the content hereof. We recommend that your own business or personal situation be thoroughly explored with a legal professional and that you do not place any specific reliance on any information herein.

Moving abroad with children