Posted by familylaw on 10th June 2015
Last updated 25th February 2021

My new partner is from Australia and we want to move there with my children from my previous marriage. can we go?

If both biological parents have parental responsibility for the children, written consent is required from the other parent if you want to permanently take your children to live in another country. If the removal is not agreed, you can make an application to the court to request permission for leave to remove the children. if you permanently remove the children from England without obtaining such permission, you will have ‘wrongfully removed’ the children – even if the children normally live with you.

My ex-husband will agree in principle to the move. what form of consent should i obtain from him so i don’t wrongfully remove the child?

We advise clients to produce a detailed written agreement with the other parent setting out what has been agreed, and by whom. this will give clarity and avoid future disagreements between you and your ex-husband concerning your children. An even better course of action, and one we recommend, is for an order to be made. this may have greater recognition in the other country than the agreement, and can be made by consent without either of you attending court.

What information do i need to present to the court with my application for leave to remove my children?

The courts give serious consideration when asked to grant permission to such applications, taking into account the best interests and welfare of the children, and the impact on the parent left behind. they will decide whether the move abroad is an attempt to exclude the father from the child’s life, or if it is motivated by a genuine desire to improve the life of the parent and children. the courts will consider how contact with the other parent is to be maintained, taking into account the benefit of technology in maintaining communication, as well as the impact on the parent and child should the application be refused.

What are my chances of succeeding?

You will need a well-planned and researched proposal detailing arrangements in the new country to ensure the care and support for the child, and the maintenance of the relationship between the child and other parent. However, this is a complex area of law and each case is different. the courts are increasingly concerned that the relationship a child has with the other parent may suffer as a consequence of the proposed move. if you are considering relocating abroad, the specialist team at the family Law Company will be able to provide you with detailed advice on your specific situation.

* This is information only and you should always seek legal advice on your individual situation

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