Relocating after divorce,also known as Leave to remove (LTR), can be a difficult and complex field to navigate. We have many years experience in this area and can help guide you through, from the initial stages, right through to completion of your situation – whichever side of the case you are on.
Relocating with children should only ever be undertaken after careful consideration is given to the impact such a move would have on the children and on their future relationships with both parents. How will their daily lives and stability be affected? How much time will they have with both parents? These are just some of the questions you might want to take into consideration.
We can help if your ex wants to move away with your children, maybe with a new partner and you object. If they want to move to another area within England and Wales then all persons with parental responsibility will need to agree the move. If you feel it is not in your children's best interests and no agreement can be made between all parties, then you can make an application to the courts for a Prohibited Steps Order (PSO). This is an order granted by the family courts which will prevent a parent from carrying out certain events (such as relocating the children), or making specific trips, without the express permission of the other parent. It is far better for you to try to come to an agreement with your ex about the arrangements for your children and how much time they have with each of you, by speaking to each other, or alternatively by going through mediation.
If you are the party that wishes to relocate and you cannot come to an amicable agreement with your ex, then you will need to go to court and show that relocation is in the best interests of your children. Valid reasons that are considered can include:
Moving for a better job
Moving to a better area with more opportunities for schooling and extra-curricular activities for the children.
Closer to relatives, so the children will benefit from interaction within the wider family unit.
Financial security with a new partner.
The court's primary concern is for your children's welfare and they will always have your children's best interests at the heart of any Leave to remove London judgement they come to. They will want to make sure that the children's relationship with the other parent does not suffer and that regular contact can be sustained. You should also consider that if the children have been moved away from their friends and activities that weekends are a time they will need to build their own new social lives and friendships. If they are required to spend weekends travelling between the two of you, that could have an impact, if it is too frequent. Where weekend visits are no longer viable, due to distance for instance, then you may find that the children would benefit from spending longer in the holidays with the other partner, so that quality contact is maintained. You will need to find a balance that works for you all, as obviously there is only so much annual leave one person is entitled to if you are working.
Probably the biggest factor to deal with in this situation is the emotional impact. There are no winners or losers with Leave to remove London cases, they always evoke emotions. You should organise plenty of phone contact with your children, preferably daily if it is possible, as this will enable them (and you) to still feel involved in each others lives. You can use phonecalls, skype, email and social media to help to keep in touch, but obviously none of these will make up for actual physical contact. Where possible try to arrange to see them as often as possible, especially in the early stages, obviously this is not always economically viable. Both partners should be mindful of the children's needs in this situation and absolutely put THEM first and nver use the children as a bargaining tool.
For all your Leave to remove questions, we are here to help you. We have extensive expertise in this field and look forward to helping you with your individual circumstances.
Call us today on 01483 826470 and let us help you to a successful outcome.