Relocating with your children

Moving is always a big decision to make. There are lots of reasons why you might want to relocate following a divorce.

If you are thinking about moving overseas, remember that you cannot simply take your child to live abroad if they live day-to-day in England and Wales and you share parental responsibility with your ex. If you want to move to another country, then you either need your ex's agreement or the court’s permission. 

If you are thinking about a move closer to home, you can move within England and Wales without your ex's agreement. However, in reality, moving within England and Wales can cause just as much disruption for a child as a move to a whole different country. It is good common sense to keep everyone informed of your plans and consult your ex early on so that they can understand the reasons behind your decisions. 

If your ex objects to you moving (whether overseas or within England and Wales), they can apply to the court for an order preventing you from moving (a prohibited steps order).  However, you can also apply to the court for permission to move (a specific issue order).   

Whether you are looking to relocate overseas or within England, the court's approach is very much the same.  The court will look for clear, detailed evidence that your proposed move is in your child's best interests. 

We have significant experience in advising parents on relocation both overseas and within England and Wales.  Recently, we:

  • successfully represented a high-profile father in proceedings where he wanted to relocate to another country with his child, a decision ultimately upheld by the Court of Appeal 
  • successfully negotiated a mother's relocation abroad with her child, ensuring the child's relationship with the father was fully supported after the move
  • in a highly sensitive case involving domestic abuse and a father facing criminal proceedings for possessing indecent images of children, we obtained an order allowing the mother to relocate within the UK

Further reading

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