Can I take my child abroad without consent?

A parent who moves their child abroad without first seeking permission from the other parent will be seen to have abducted the child in the eyes of the law. Unsurprisingly, parents often refuse to give ex-partners permission to move their child overseas and in such cases permission to relocate the child must be sought from the court.

English courts, unlike the courts in many other countries around the world tend to favour applicants wishing to relocate their children provided that any move is in the interests of the child. This can of course be crushing for the other parent for whom distance and the cost of travel means they may not see their child for months at a time. However, if the applicant wants to move back to their home nation, go and live with a new partner or move for employment purposes it can be very difficult being stuck somewhere they don’t want to be.

Taking a child abroad – what the court need to know

If you want to move overseas with your child, any court in the UK will need to be satisfied with certain key assurances from you;

  1. That the move is based on improving the quality of life and not on malicious motives to make it difficult for the other parent to see their child
  2. That the move makes practical sense and has been well planned out

Without these assurances the court is very unlikely to approve the request. Even with these assurances, the other parent’s positions will be taken into consideration. The damage it will cause to their relationship with the child and the impact it will have on their lives will be thought of. However, UK courts also consider the upset that refusing the application would have on the applicant and may believe that the benefits of moving the child abroad outweigh the damage done to the other parent.

Want to take your child abroad following a divorce? Contact our specialists

If you have gone through a divorce or your relationship has broken down, and you now want to take your child abroad, our experienced family solicitors can help.

We can advise you wherever you live in England and Wales – or if you’ve already moved abroad – taking instructions in person, by email, phone or Skype video.

For FREE initial phone advice, call us on one of the local numbers below, or send us an email using the enquiry form below;

SALISBURY [01722] 422300

AMESBURY [01980] 622992                         

ANDOVER [01264] 364433                

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