A divorce or separation can often leave a parent feeling lonely and isolated, especially so if they have family abroad. Many may feel the need for a change by moving to a new country, or simply some may need to move abroad for employment reasons or because they now have met a new partner.
Where children are involved, choosing to move to a new country is difficult, especially when the other parent resides in the UK.
Both parents have Parental Responsibility and therefore have an automatic right to participate in major decisions concerning the child. If both parents can reach an agreement and resolve the time that the child will spend with “the left behind parent”, then such an agreement can be embodied in a final Order without the need to resort to court. Parents should attempt mediation and/or collaboration in the first instance to resolve this difficult issue.
If agreement cannot be reached, then Shortlands’ expert lawyers, who have had years of experience in dealing with such cases in respect of various countries, can assist by offering expert advice. First and foremost, the law wants to ensure that the decision to relocate is one that is in the interests of the child. The law will seek to ensure that “the leaving parent” has thought through the process in detail by looking at how the child’s education, environment, social integration and economic security will be affected. Further, the time that the child will spend with “the left behind parent” will need to be addressed in detail.