Do I need to have permission to relocate with my child abroad?
Under English law nobody is allowed to take a child out of the jurisdiction of England and Wales without the permission of everyone with Parental Responsibility, because it would be child abduction.
If the Court has ordered that a child shall live with someone, that person may take the child out of the Country for up to 28 days, without the permission of all others with Parental Responsibility.
If a parent wants to relocate to another country with a child, they will need the permission of all other people with Parental Responsibility or the permission of the Court. The Court’s paramount concern will be the child’s welfare.
The Court will have to consider the welfare checklist when deciding if a child should relocate.
- The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child, in light of their age and understanding.
- The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.
- The child’s sex, background and any characteristics the Court thinks are important.
- Any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering.
- How capable is either parent of meeting the child’s needs.
- The range of powers available to the Court.
The Court will also want to consider whether the application is genuine and not one to prevent the other parent from having any contact with the child. It will therefore be important for the applicant to show that contact will continue, how will it be done practically and is it affordable, where the child shall live or who shall look after the child whilst they are at work.
The Court will then balance, on the one hand, the opposition of the parent staying behind, how genuine is the application and the child’s future against the effect the application will have if it is refused.
The applicant will need to think about the practicalities, how easy is it to travel, nurseries and schools, social network, language and indirect contact such as Skype, FaceTime or phone calls.
Every case will turn on its own facts. The case will need to be prepared carefully and with a lot of detail. If you are thinking of making such an application then it is important to instruct a solicitor at an early stage.
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