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  • Planning a move with your children?

    Planning a move with your children?

    Can you move with your children?

    The answer is maybe. If you are planning a permanent move i.e. one longer than a month, first, you should try to seek permission from all those that have parental responsibility.

    Who has parental responsibility?

    A mother automatically has Parental Responsibility for her child from birth.

    A father has Parental Responsibility if:

    • He is or was married to the child’s mother, or
    • He is listed on the birth certificate as the father (after a certain date, depending on which part of the UK the child was born in); or
    • A Court has granted Parental Responsibility.

    Others may have Parental Responsibility if a Court or the mother has granted it, such as grandparents or step-parents.

    If permission is not given by all of those with Parental Responsibiltiy, you will need to seek the Courts approval before moving.

    What will the courts look at?

    You will need to show the Court that the move will be beneficial to the child:

    Start researching early as you will need to gather evidence, particularly for your Statement in support of your Court application.  This could mean making a trip to your desired new location, or internet research. It is important to include evidence on why the move will be beneficial and this includes:

    1. Do you have a strong support network there?
    2. What are the employment opportunities for you?
    3. Get realistic prospective property details.
    4. What are the schools like, obtain a prospectus from the school(s) and find out how long will the commute take to get to school each day?
    5. What extra-curricular activities are on offer?

    and show you are able to maintain sufficiently good contact with the other parent:

    1. What is the current arrangement?
    2. Could the other parent relocate?  If not what are the transport links like?  Check the cost of flights and transfers, local hotels, etc.
    3. Can the other parent afford the trip to visit, or could you assist in the costs of this?
    4. If you are planning to return with the child for contact, is this practical? What are the financial implications and will you be able to get sufficient time off work?
    5. Can you use technology, such as video phone contact via WhatsApp, Facetime, Skype or Zoom for regular contact between physical meetings?
    6. Ultimately what will the effect be on the child if there is a reduction in contact with the remaining parent?

    How we can assist?

    Julie McDonald Family Law has years of experience in relocation cases and has recently assisted in clients moves to the United States, Ireland, and Scotland as well as many within England and Wales.  It is crucial to obtain legal advice well ahead of your planned move, as Court proceedings can take 9 months or more.  We can also assist with your Statement, which must contain the information above, plus more.

    We at Julie McDonald Family Law, are happy to assist you with every step of the way.


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