If your relationship has irretrievably broken down and you are seeking prefessional advice from an experienced leave to remove lawyers, then look no further. With many years of both personal and professional experience Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors are best placed to help you with all your child relocation queries.
Below we have answered some of the most common questions we receive, but please feel free to contact us for professional and straightforward advice for any issues you may currently be experiencing.
What are leave to remove/child relocation cases?
These cases arise, in the majority of cases, when one parent within an international family wishes to relocate back to their home country following a separation or divorce. This could be for a number of reasons, usually family support or employment. In other cases it can be that one parent has obtained employment abroad, either from a new job or existing employment, which offers better opportunities and they wish to persue this. These are some of the most difficult, emotional and tough cases as there is never a 'winner' and a child will potentially be losing a connection with grandparents, extended family and friends.
I wish to relocate permanently to another country as my relationship is definitely over and I wish to take our child with me - can I just leave?
No you may not. You need to obtain permission, preferably written (see below), from any other party with parental responsibility for the child. If you do not have permission you could open yourself up to child abduction charges and face serious repercussions as a result. If the other party will not give their consent you will need to obtain permission from the court. The courts will not simply allow you to leave, especially if they assess that the main motive for the relocation is to prevent contact with the left behind parent. They will also be more inclined to allow a relocation if the only defence for refusal is to create problems for the relocating parent. The courts will look at both sides of the situation and will always make their decision based on the welfare of the child. This is where expert legal counsel is essential to ensure you have a throrough knowledge of the situation and the decisions to be made.
I have verbal permission from my ex-partner to relocate abroad with our child, is this sufficient?
In theory yes, HOWEVER it is always prudent to obtain written consent to the relocation to avoid any issues in the future. Without it you are open to child abduction charges being made against you, or even being faced with a denial that consent was ever even given! Either of these would obviously have huge consequences for yourself, so we advise that written consent is always obtained to avoid any issues in the future. Some countries will also require written proof of consent from the left behind parent before allowing the move to their country.
What will I need to include in my application to relocate with our child?
You will need to demonstrate to the court that you have a well thought out and researched plan for the move, which has been carefully considered and with the interests of your child at the centre of it. You will need to prove that you have looked into accommodation for yourselves and also researched available schooling. If you are intending to work then you will need to demonstate the opportunities open to you, or any job offers already secured. The court will also want to see how you intend to finance yourself and what childcare arrangements can be in place if the relocation is granted. One main thing to include are the proposals for contact (also see below) with the left behind parent. These should be generous and may even include the cost of travel and accommodation for them to visit you. Obviously these will vary depending on how far you intend to move, time differences etc. This is also where expert legal advice can make a huge difference to the outcome of your case.
Should I put contact arrangements in place, subject to the court granting my relocation application?
Yes you should. If you are moving abroad then naturally the left behind parent will have much less contact and communication with their child than they currently experience, so it is a good idea and highly recommended that this is addressed in your application. This is where, as expert leave to remove lawyers, that we can offer exceptional legal advice on the steps to take. We will advise you of all the options open to you and help you to put together your application succinctly and in a well planned manner. These arrangements can include anything from times and days of phone contact, provision of a webcam, or even for costs for travel and accommodation being met by the relocating parent when visiting the child in their new home country. If you are facing a strong application to relocate by your ex-partner we can negotiate improved contact arrangements as a condition of your consent being given.
Do I have a chance of opposing a leave to remove application?
Yes you do, but we will always be honest with you and if we feel the relocation is in the best interests of the child and that the courts will approve the application, then we will tell you. To object it will be necessary to prove that the left behind parent has a significant role in the child's life, both from a time and emotional perspective. You will be required to demonstrate any adverse effects of moving on the child, possibly educationally or healthwise. Many opposing applications will fail due to being ill-considered and inadequately planned. This is where Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors can help you as we will discuss all aspects of the relocation with you and structure your opposition based on clear, adequate and well thought through plans.
For all your leave to remove lawyers questions we are here to help you. We deal with both applying and defending sides of the case and will always provide you with honest and easy to understand advice.
Call us today on 01483 826 470 and let us help to put your mind at rest.