During separation or divorce, change will occur in everybody’s lives, and relocation may be appropriate. Perhaps it’s impossible to continue to live in an area, or it’s necessary to relocate closer to family and friends that can provide support. Whatever your reasons, it is important to obtain legal advice. Robert Bellhouse family lawyer at Ware & Kay explains some considerations.
Consider what GP & dentist to register with, where to live and childcare. Give thought to schools and the impact on future education. If moving to a non-English speaking country, consider learning the language.
It is important that you consider how your child will maintain their relationship with your former partner. The court must be assured that the move is not an attempt to exclude your former partner from the child’s life. Plan for time spent with the other parent. Skype/Facetime can maintain regular contact. Sending photographs can help your former partner and child stay connected.
How and when direct face-to-face time spent will occur will be important for your child and the other parent. Check the cost and method of travel.
If you decide that relocation is still best then speak to your former partner and seek their consent. If they will not consent, then you should speak to us for advice.
If you are relocating outside the UK is known as external relocation and your former partner does not consent, you need to apply to the courts for an order. Failing to do this can have very serious consequences and maybe child abduction.
If you are relocating within the UK, your former partner can object by applying to court.
Whether internal or external relocation, a court order will permit you to move. The law requires the court to have the welfare of the child as their paramount concern. Robert advises ‘This is when your early research will pay off. The court will need to be sure that this move is in the best interests of your child and that you have considered all aspects of how the relocation will impact on your child’.
It is crucial to obtain early advice to avoid dashes to court, which could significantly delay or derail your plans.