International Child Custody & Relocation

International families face unique complications if the relationship between parents breaks down. A parent may wish to return to their home country with their child or relocate overseas for work, which can make it difficult for the child to have regular contact with both parents.

If the other parent disagrees with arrangements that involve the child relocating, specialist advice and help may be required to resolve the situation. When an outcome cannot be agreed by everyone with Parental Responsibility for that child, the permission of the court needs to be sought.

The Allard Bailey team understands the thorny issues surrounding international child custody and relocation and provides full support and advice at all stages of this process.

Do I need consent from my child’s other parent before taking them to live overseas temporarily?

English law states that everyone with Parental Responsibility for a child needs to give consent for that child to be taken overseas for any length of time.  However, if your child lives with you and that is recorded in a Child Arrangements Order, you can usually take them overseas for up to 28 days without permission.  If you require consent, but this has not been given, you can apply to the court for permission.

Can I move overseas with my child if I do not have their other parent’s consent?

If the child’s other parent has Parental Responsibility, they usually need to give consent for that child to live overseas.  If they do not agree, you can apply to the court for permission to relocate.  It can take a number of months, or even years for the court to make a final decision, so it is vital that legal advice is sought at an early stage.

What documents do I need to take my child overseas?

We recommend that the child’s other parent provide a letter of consent, which contains their contact details so that its authenticity can be checked. If you have a Child Arrangements Order that states your child lives with you then you can take your child overseas for up to 28 without permission. It is a good idea to take a sealed copy of the relevant Court Order when you travel.  We recommend that you check with your Solicitor if you need to do anything else, such as having documents verified. If you do not have the same surname as your child, you may be asked to prove your relationship to them if you travel. In which case, we advise taking extra documentation such as a copy of their birth certificate, adoption certificate or your parental order, as well as any relevant divorce or marriage certificates.

Legal Advice

For further advice, arrange a confidential meeting with one of our international child custody lawyers. Call us on +44 (0)20 7993 2936 or click here to complete a contact form.

Filed Under: Insight

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