Family and Divorce Law

Family Law – Removing a child from the jurisdiction and Children Act Proceedings

What happens if you or your ex-partner wish to relocate with your children?

16 Feb 2022

Team name
Sally Ward

What happens if you or your ex-partner wish to relocate with your children?

Acting for a mother in Children Act proceedings, on her application for permission to remove the child from the jurisdiction. The child was only four years of age and proceedings to determine contact arrangements between her and her father had only just concluded when the mother announced her intention to move from this jurisdiction with the child, to live with her boyfriend.  Although the mother had known the boyfriend since childhood, she had only been in a relationship for a relatively short period of time.  Although the mother had carefully considered the timing of the proposed move, in that it coincided with the child commencing her primary education and would mean that her education would not be disrupted, I had to advise the client that in many other respects her decision to make the move at this stage was ill timed.  This required a sensitive approach in advising the mother.  Also in communicating her wishes to the child’s father (who was acting in person).  We initially sent a letter to him outlining the mother’s plans to gauge his reaction.  He immediately responded by issuing an application for a prohibited steps order.  Despite this background of contested proceedings, we were able to negotiate the matter prior to the first hearing date.  After careful and considered consultations with and advice to the client, she realised that she would be taking too much of a risk in pursuing her application to remove the child from the jurisdiction at this stage and that an ill-considered application would put the working relationship between her and the child’s father, and the child’s best interests, at risk.

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