How to Move Abroad with Children
- What is international relocation?
- What are the common reasons for moving abroad with child after divorce?
- Do I need permission to relocate to another country with my child?
- What steps can I take if the other parent is preventing me from moving abroad with child after separation?
- How to move abroad with children where a child arrangements order is in place?
- What factors will the court consider when dealing with an application for moving abroad with child after separation?
- What to factor when considering how to move abroad with children?
- What are the effects on children when moving abroad with child after separation?
- When should I seek legal advice on how to move abroad with children?
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A divorce or parental separation can often shake up the life of a child and in certain situations involve consideration of how to move abroad with children. A parent who remains the primary carer for a child or has custody of a child may decide to move abroad with their child. This could be to begin leading a better life and to forget about their divorce or separation.
A divorce or separation may not be the only reason why one parent is considering how to move abroad with a child. There could be other reasons such as for a better standard of living which can come by a potential job or career prospect or alternatively it may be to reunite with family members abroad to obtain moral support. Whatever the reason for considering how to move abroad with a child, our family law specialists are at hand to provide you with the advice and assistance you need when considering moving abroad with children.
What is international relocation?
International relocation is the term which refers to one parent who decides to permanently relocate and move abroad. This is usually the case following a separation of the parents. International relocation can have a huge impact on the set up of a family and because of this, this decision needs to be taken carefully and considered seriously.
What are the common reasons for moving abroad with child after divorce?
A divorce can severely affect the structure of a family set up. Quite often one parent may be considering moving abroad with child following separation. Such feelings often tend to rise because of an offer of a new employment which is likely to allow the parent to progress their career and open up new avenues, a wish to return back to the country of a parents birth or where they were raised up, relocating due to meeting a new partner who lives abroad or to start a new life abroad with a new partner or alternatively to improve your life and to help moving on with separation.
Such wishes and feelings for a parent of moving abroad with child after divorce can occur at any time and may not necessarily arise straight away following a breakdown of relationship.
Do I need permission to relocate to another country with my child?
Where both parents hold parental responsibility over a child then consent of the parent who is staying behind will be needed when moving abroad with child after separation. Parental responsibility is with all mothers automatically. However, a father can acquire parental responsibility by virtue of being married to the mother at the time of the birth or alternatively by being named on the birth certificate of the child, entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the mother, obtaining a court parental responsibility order or having parental responsibility though a child arrangements order.
When moving abroad with child after divorce permission is therefore needed from all those who hold parental responsibility over the child. If permission is not granted, then you will need to obtain an order from the court before moving abroad with child after separation. Our family law specialists can assist you in liaising with the parent staying behind to try and obtain their agreement or assist with mediation where discussions have broken down. We can also advise you from the outset of what steps need to be taken where one parent may refuse allowing a child moving to another country.
What steps can I take if the other parent is preventing me from moving abroad with child after separation?
When one parent is on the verge of moving abroad with a child after separation, the other parent who will be staying may not be willing to provide their consent. This could have severe implications and is likely to affect any plans to move. A parent staying behind can be doing this out of hostility or since they fear losing contact with their child moving to another country.
In such a case the parent wishing to internationally relocate can make an application to the court. There are two types of applications which could be made when moving abroad with child following divorce.
The most common type of application when considering how to move abroad with children is a specific issue order. A specific issue order under section 8 of the Children’s Act 1989 is an order giving directions for the purpose of determining a specific question which arises or may arise in relation to any aspect of parental responsibility for a child.
How to move abroad with children where a child arrangements order is in place?
Where a child arrangement order is in place the parent considering moving abroad with child after divorce will need to apply for leave from the court. This is granted under Section 13(1) of the Children Act 1989. Such application would be required where both parents cannot agree on the child being removed from the UK.
This provision within the Children Act 1989 relates to a change of child’s name or removal from this jurisdiction. When considering how to move abroad with a child, the parent who is considering moving abroad with child after separation, must have regard for this provision and obtain legal advice. Our family law specialists deal with all aspects of child law and will be able to provide you with tailored and thorough advice to ensure you are able to counter any issues from the outset.
The provision of the Children Act 1989 prohibits a parent to change the name of a child or remove the child from the United Kingdom without obtaining written consent of all parental responsibility holders or leave of the court.
If there is a child arrangement order in place for a child then you must obtain written consent from the other parent, or a person in whose favour a child arrangements order is in force for. If this parent or another person do not provide their written consent, then you must obtain leave from the court.
Failure to obtain consent from a parental responsibility holder or leave from the court can result in moving abroad with child after separation being considered as illegal. This could amount to child abduction.
What factors will the court consider when dealing with an application for moving abroad with child after separation?
As with all child law cases the paramount consideration for the court is the welfare of the child. The courts will follow the welfare checklist to ensure that moving abroad with child after separation is in the best interests of the child.
The courts will also consider the reason for the parent wishing to relocate internationally and whether this is a for a genuine reason or whether the parent is considering moveing abroad with children is purely motivated by hate and spite to frustrate the other parent or parental responsibility holders contact with the child.
The courts will also consider the effect of moving abroad with child after divorce on the relationship between the child and the other parent. The courts will consider whether the parent moving abroad will be able to facilitate meaningful contact for the child with the other parent and ensure that there are opportunities for continuing contact for the child with the parent.
If a child is mature enough to make decisions the courts will also consider the wishes and feelings of the child, the effect this change of location will have on the child and whether each parent is capable of meeting the child’s needs.
What to factor when considering how to move abroad with children?
- When considering how to move abroad with children careful thought and consideration must be provided before reaching your decision. The main factor to consider should be the best interests and welfare of the children when considering how to move abroad with children.
- International relocation can be difficult and challenging for children, especially where they are having to leave one parent behind. As well as family structure change there will also be a change to the children’s lifestyle and cultural change.
- The paramount consideration should be the level of contact a child has with the parent they will be leaving behind when considering how to move abroad with children. Where a child has regular contact with the parent who will be remaining, then removing them from the jurisdiction could dampen the relationship and progress made with the non-primary carer parent. A child may take this negatively and see this as an attempt to harm this relationship due to personal differences of the parents.
- Consideration must also be given to whether there is a child arrangements order in place which provides the other parent formal contact. If so, then prior to considering how to move abroad with children you should attempt to seek the other parents’ consent. In the absence of positive consent, steps will need to be taken to apply for leave from the court. Without consent from the other parent or leave to remove the child from the jurisdiction you may unknowingly be committing child abduction.
- The age of a child is a very important factor when considering moving abroad with child after divorce. The younger the child the easier it is for the child to adapt to the relocation. This is because they are usually following a routine at home and may not have developed a social aspect or strong ties in the UK. In contrast international relocation for an older child could seriously impact them. If a child is currently at school, then moving abroad with child after separation could cause them some harm. Elder children are likely to have developed routine whether this is at school or independent from the home which needs to be considered. Elder children may have developed strong emotional ties with friends and the other parent which will be restricted by the move. Children may find it difficult to adapt to new cultures and social lives as well as school and college abroad.
- Special consideration and attention need to be given to the reason for moving abroad. If the reason to move abroad is taken to try and lead a better quality of life, then you should consider whether the child is likely to be getting better education than they currently are doing within the UK. You will also need to consider that the children are likely to encounter a language barrier. Learning a foreign language in a child’s teenage years could be quite challenging and difficult, you therefore need to consider whether moving abroad at this stage is beneficial for the child or whether it will result in a setback for them. If you are deciding on how to move abroad with children to a non-English speaking country, then you must remember that their education might be set back by at least a year or two in order for them to master a new language before seeking to complete their education. It is very important that when considering how to move abroad with the children you research the ideal school which will assist in establishing a better future for your children.
- You must also assess the healthcare abroad when considering how to move abroad with children. Wherever you travel in the world you will want to ensure you and your family have the best health cover. However not all countries are able to provide the same level of healthcare as the UK. You may therefore need to factor in considering additional health care cover and additional health care costs for you and your children when considering moving abroad with children.
- When you move abroad on a permanent basis you will no longer be entitled to medical treatment under the NHS as the NHS service is a residence based healthcare system. You must also notify your GP of leaving to ensure you and your children are removed from the NHS register. The NHS also advises you to thoroughly research healthcare as you may not be entitled to some of the treatments you receive for free in the UK and may have to make contributions for basis treatments. You may in the alternative have to obtain health insurance which could add to your existing financial strain.
What are the effects on children when moving abroad with child after separation?
Moving abroad with a child after separation could impact the child negatively making them feel secluded or lonely. This could be due to leaving one parent behind, changing schools, not having any of their friends or family around or they may completely be overwhelmed by the whole relocation. As a result, children may also appear withdrawn and may display signs of disruptive or uncooperative behaviour.
It is therefore imperative that you clearly think through when considering how to move abroad with children. It is also equally important that you involve your children in the decision-making process to ensure they do not feel isolated from the outset and can have their input on any concerns and issues they may have. This will allow you to understand the issues and discuss with the children further which can prevent the children suffering emotionally and mentally when migrating abroad.
When should I seek legal advice on how to move abroad with children?
International relocation requires a lot of planning. You should seek legal advice as soon as possible. This is to ensure you overcome any hurdles from the outset. Our family law specialists can discuss your matter with you during a free initial consultation and provide you with the advice you need.
By seeking legal advice early, you are more likely to understand what needs to be done prior to expending money into flights, sorting out education and other issues when moving abroad with child after separation.
Our family lawyers can also act as mediators to try and assist you in resolving matters as amicably as possible. We can help promote communication between you and the other partner to assess whether they are likely to provide you with the written consent you need. If this is not likely to be achieved, we can assist you in preparing your application to the court to obtain leave before moving with your children. Nevertheless, legal advice should be sought from the outset to ensure you tackle any difficulties at the start.
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Your partner is unlikely to find out if you have made a request for information. The police will not disclose your request to the person for whom you require information. When making a disclosure under Clare’s law the police do not need the views or the consent of the subject partner.
Can I stop my ex-partner from moving abroad with child after divorce?
If you hold parental responsibility over your child either by way of being named on the birth certificate of the child or through a court child arrangements order then your ex-partner must seek your permission when moving abroad with child after separation.
If you feel the reason for moving abroad with child after separation is not one which is in the best interests of the child and is made to stop you from having meaningful contact then you may be able to refuse and prevent your ex-partner moving abroad with child after separation. In such a situation your partner will then need to consider seeking leave from the court before she decides on how to move abroad with children. Our family law specialists not only assist parents who want to relocate abroad but also assist parents who want to ensure their children remain in this jurisdiction. Contact us today to find out how our experience family lawyers can help you in your personal matter.
Contact Kabir Family Law today for a free initial consultation
If you are a parent considering how to move abroad with children, then contact us today to obtain more information through our free initial consultation. With family lawyers in Cardiff as well as across Newcastle, Northampton, Oxford and London we can assist you in reaching a calculated decision when moving abroad with child after divorce. It is important to seek legal advice from the outset as you may be encountered with obtaining consent of the parent remaining behind or may need to seek approval from the court before moving abroad.
Our child law specialists can also assist parents who are looking to prevent their child from being removed out of the UK by the other parent where this is likely to affect their relationship with their children and is likely to cause the child more harm than good.
We provide family law advice nationally as well as internationally through telephone, email and Skype. We will also ensure you are kept up to date with your matter and assist you developing a strategy to help you succeed. Contact us today for a free initial consultation by calling on 029 219 21400 to discuss your options or let us call you back.