International Child Relocation



Following a breakdown of a relationship, difficulties can arise when one parent wishes to move to another country with the children. Under English Law a person cannot take a child out of the jurisdiction without the consent of every person who has parental responsibility for the child, and to do so would amount to child abduction under The Hague Convention and a criminal offence in the UK. If the other parent (and any other person with parental responsibility) does not provide consent, the parent who wishes to relocate with the children must apply to the court for permission to remove the children from the jurisdiction.

Relocation cases are increasingly common given the growth of international family life. However, such applications continue to raise strong emotions for both parents; one parent often fearing having much reduced contact with their children, and the other feeling resentful for being prevented from moving on with their life and relocating to their preferred country.

When deciding such applications the fundamental consideration for the English court is the welfare of the children and what is considered to be in the children’s best interests. The questions that the court will consider include whether the application is genuine and the motivations of the parent wishing to move, whether the plans especially in relation to housing, schooling are realistic and researched, and what the proposals for future contact with the other parent are.

Every case will turn on its own facts and it is important that advice from a specialist family solicitor is obtained.

For further information on International child relocation or any other Family law matter, please contact Ushma Parmar on 0203 490 1475 or via email to