If you are currently going through a leave to remove London/child relocation case and are looking for the very best in expert legal counsel to represent you, then look no further. With many years of both personal and professional experience in this field, we really are best placed to help both you and you family with your unique circumstance.
In today's more diverse and multi-cultural society we are seeing an increase in cases where, following a divorce, one parent will wish to leave the marital home and either relocate to another area of the UK, or overseas. These types of cases are called Leave to remove, or child relocation cases. Finding out your ex-partner wishes to relocate with your child can evoke many feelings of hurt, anger and frustration. Wondering what action you can take to prevent the move is normal and if you are the parent wishing to relocate, you will be wondering how you can make the situation go smoothly. Here at Gregorian Emerson Family law Solicitors we can talk through all aspects of your case with you. We promise to always be honest with you, even if it may not be what you want to hear, but we will ensure you know all options open to you and explain everything clearly, whichever side of the situation you are.
Children can be very affected by a leave to remove London case. Age dependant they will have concerns over things like: leaving their friends, having to make new ones, moving schools or leaving behind family etc. How you handle this is important. Do not over promise and glamorise a planned move, exaggerating the new area or planned activities available to them. But also resist the temptation to discuss it negatively and put barriers in the way if you are the non relocating parent. Children will pick up on the parents emotions, so whilst you can discuss the planned move with them, bear in mind that YOU, as parents are the ones making the decisions in the child's best interests and let them know that they are at the centre of any choices you make. It is all too easy to have children caught up in the emotional side of a relocation case and having to deal with the aftermath of any court proceedings. 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.
In a leave to remove London case, there are several things that can happen:
If one parent wishes to relocate abroad they will need the written consent of all other parties with parental responsibility to do so, usually the other parent, but in some cases a local authority. If they do not wish to give their permission, for whatever reason, you will need to apply to the family court for permission to do so. Alternatively the non consenting parent can apply to the court for an order prohibiting the child being taken out of the UK.
If all parties agree to the move it will need to be put in writing and made absolutely clear that the move is a permanent relocation abroad and not just for a short term holiday, or extended stay.
If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties on what is best for the children, the parent wishing to relocate can do so, but without the child. A parent can object to the removal of their child, but not for their ex-partner, so there is nothing to stop them continuing to move abroad, but leaving the child behind.
If a parent relocates overseas with the child, but without the permission of those with parental responsibility, it may be classed as child abduction (an offence in English law!) and under the Hague Convention the child can be returned to the UK. It is highly advisable NOT to move abroad without the necessary permissions as it will cause you many legal problems.
IF YOU THINK YOUR EX-PARTNER IS PLANNING TO TAKE THE CHILDREN OUT OF THE UK IMMINENTLY WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION, YOU SHOULD SEEK LEGAL HELP IMMEDIATELY.
If you feel your ex-partner is planning a move imminently you can take several steps. Firstly, if you have the children's passports you can hide them, if you don't have them you can apply online to stop them. If you feel your children will be removed within 48 hours you can contact the Police. They can issue a 'port alert' which alerts all police forces and immigration officers of the child's details. These details stay on a 'child abduction warning list' for an initial period of 28 days. It is helpful to gather any evidence of an impending abduction for the police etc such as emails or texts. We can also help you to take out a 'prohibited steps order', these are used to prevent the removal of a child either abroad, or relocating within the UK. As experienced leave to remove London lawyers we can help you with all aspects of your case and advise you on the next steps to take.
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 each case individually 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