Looking for help with a leave to remove case? Then we are here to help you and your personal situation.
When a couple agree to separate and go their own ways, sometimes it isn't as simple as doing just that, there are often children involved and any decisions you make can have long lasting and sometimes, a very negative impact on their little lives.
One of the main areas to cause concern for a child when the parents’ divorce, is when one of them wants to move away, either to relocate in a different part of the UK, or to a completely different country. Obviously this is extremely worrying for the children involved as they are looking at the very real possibility of having to make new friends, start a new school and also have less contact and time with the 'left behind' parent.
At the end of the day your decisions and actions should be all about the children and what is best for them in the long term. You are the adults and know your children better than anybody else, so you need to be aware of the impact any potential move will have on their lives and weigh up all the options available to you accordingly.
Generally children will settle and react better to a move the younger they are. This is especially correct in cases where they are relocated abroad, where they may or may not be familiar with the language or culture. There may be new relatives involved which they have had little or no interaction with, other than possibly through social media or brief phone calls. To settle a teenager, already filled with raging hormones, into a new environment like this is not always a good idea for the child's welfare and you may face hostility from them, especially if they have a good support network i.e. friends, family members, school etc. There is also the subject of education to consider here too. Moving them at pivotal moments in their education could significantly affect exam results, for instance in the year or two before taking their gcse’s. The same can be said for the time of year to move them, this needs to be considered as they will be joining a new school and have to make new friends. Ultimately you need to remember it wasn’t their decision for you to separate and make them move schools and friends etc so expect some backlash. Most parents would opt for the beginning of a new school year for some consistency in the education and many schools do a summer programme, which your child could attend to meet people prior to actually starting the school. Obviously each case is different and will depend on each families individual circumstances.
Whatever your personal situation, the prospect of your ex-partner taking your children away from you can be incredibly upsetting and a daunting prospect. Leave to remove is an extremely emotive area of law as there will ultimately be a ‘winner’ and a ‘loser’ in terms of the outcome. The main thing to consider is what is in the children’s best interests.
If you wish to relocate a child outside of the UK, under English law you cannot do so without the consent of everyone who has parental responsibility. If you were to do so then it would be classed as child abduction and a criminal offence in the UK. If you and your ex-partner cannot reach an agreement on this then you would need to apply to the courts for permission, this is commonly known as ‘leave to remove’. Relocating without the permission of your ex-partner is incredibly ill advised, as they can apply to the courts for a ‘prohibited steps order’ which will prevent you moving or significantly delay it.
The courts will always look at your case from the point of view of ‘what is best for the child’. They will quickly see through any application which is based on a deliberate attempt to keep one parent from the child. They will weigh up the case and will need to be convinced that the move will benefit the child and that reasonable consideration has been given to the contact arrangements for the ‘left behind parent’. There are no hard and fast rules in these cases, each situation is different and will always be treated individually.
So for any Leave to remove advice you may need, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We are here to help you and have a wealth of experience, both personal and professional, in this area.
Based in Guildford and Cobham, Surrey Central London, we can help you. If you have a family dispute that needs resolving we are here to help and look forward to your call.
Please call us on 01483 826 470