Understanding yours and your child's rights
Whether you or your ex-partner is planning on taking your children abroad, either on a permanent or temporary basis, you’ll want to know what your options are.
It could be that in theory you are ok with the arrangement but just have a niggling concern at the back of your mind. Or perhaps you’re not ok with the plans and want to know what you can do.
It helps to understand the difference between permanent relocation and the temporary removal from the jurisdiction of England and Wales.
Temporary removal from the jurisdiction of England and Wales
If there are no court orders in place, either parent wanting to take their child on holiday outside of England and Wales will need the agreement of the other parent.
When a parent refuses to allow the other parent to take the child out of England and Wales on a temporary basis (for example, for a holiday or trip), an application can be made to the court to seek permission.
If the parent has a ‘lives with order’, they have more freedom. They can take a child out of England and Wales for up to a month without needing to obtain consent from the other parent. However, our advice would be to let the other parent know your plans.
Parental permanent relocation rights
As the description suggests, permanent relocation usually occurs when the primary caregiver’s situation changes. Maybe they’ve been offered a new job somewhere else or have met a new partner who lives some distance away. In such situations, the primary caregiver will need to the consent of all parents holding parental responsibility. If the other parent does not consent, you can make an application to the court to gain permission for permanently moving your child to a different country.
In all cases, the court’s priority will be the child’s welfare. They will consider the wishes and feelings of the child, including their physical, emotional and educational needs. They will draw on the evidence from professionals to make their decision as to whether the relocation would be fair.
In stands to good reason that making such an application should not be done in a hurry. Permanent relocation can be complex, whether overseas of simply moving postcodes. That’s why it’s important to take the correct approach from the start.