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How parent and child relocations are handled by the Family Court

How parent and child relocations are handled by the Family Court

When can a parent relocate?

If a child’s parent wishes to relocate, either within the UK or overseas, they must first secure the consent of all persons with whom they share parental responsibility (usually the other parent to the child).

It is unacceptable for one parent to make a unilateral decision to relocate without the agreement of the other. In the absence of an agreement, it will be necessary for the Family Court to determine whether or not the relocation should take place. Relocation cases are dealt with under The Children Act 1989.


How are parental relocation issues handled?

Section 1 of The Children Act confirms that, when the Family Court is asked to determine any question relating to the upbringing of a child, the child’s welfare must be of paramount importance.

On this basis, in a relocation case the court is not particularly concerned with the wishes and feelings of either parent — its first priority will always be how the welfare of the child/children will be impacted by the proposed relocation.


Key considerations before parental relocation

If a parent is seeking the permission of the court to relocate their children, they should give considerable thought to the proposed move and how their children will be impacted.

Some key considerations include:


How our family team can support you

Relocation cases are complex. They require careful consideration and detailed planning, and are dealt with on a case-specific basis by the Court.

Our experienced lawyers can advise on contentious family matters and find the solutions you need, often avoiding costly court proceedings.

If you require advice in respect of potential relocation proceedings, please get in touch with our family team.

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