International families can face particular difficulties if the relationship between the parents break down. A parent may wish to return to their home country with their child or relocate overseas for work.
However, there are many different aspects to the law on the international movement of children to and from the UK involving English, European and other international laws and specialist legal advice is vital.
Our in-house international family law team can help you with:
International child relocation International child abduction Taking children abroad when separated
International child relocation
If you wish to move overseas with your children without the other parent you must have written permission from the other parent (and anyone else with parental responsibility).
If you do not have this, you will need the permission of the Court.
Our international team can help you draft an agreement to ensure that consent from the other parent is clear. If this is not obtainable, the team also has the expertise to give you the best chance of success in applying for permission from the Court to take your child abroad permanently.
If the consent of the other party with parental responsibility is not obtained or if the permission of the Court is not granted and you remove your child from England and Wales, you could be committing child abduction.
Most parents can not contemplate their children being abducted by the other parent however these cases are becoming increasingly common. Whether you are the parent being accused of being the ‘abducting party’ or the parent ‘left behind’ it is essential that you have specialist legal representation and take action quickly.
The action you need to take will depend on the country involved. Many countries are now signed up to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 which is a tool used to aid the swift return of children to their normal country of residence.
For those countries that are not, different procedures will apply. Either way, seek legal assistance immediately.
Taking children abroad when separated
It’s not commonly known that you need consent or the court’s permission to take a child out of the UK for a holiday if you are separated. Whether it is a day trip or a summer holiday, you must get written consent from anyone else with parental responsibility for the children.
The exception to this is when a Child Arrangements Order confirming residence is in place, in which case you may take the child abroad for less than one month (as long as it does not breach any other part of the Order).
If you cannot obtain consent you will have to apply to a court for a Specific Issue Order.
Get in touch
If you are based outside of the UK we offer an online service for all of our lawyers and offices. Appointments can easily be conducted by video conferencing. Solicitors can be assigned based on their areas of expertise and location and supported by a team of experts across the country.
Your team in International
Julian Hawkhead has extensive experience in all aspects of family law particularly in comp...
I was put in touch with Matthew (Matt) Taylor to assist me with my recent divorce matters. My case was far from straightforward and was contested by the other side at all levels: cohabitation duration, pre-acquired assets and marital assets in two countries. Matt was extremely helpful, responsive and proactive throughout the entire process, which was a long challenging one for me. Matt made it as easy and as smooth as possible with his professional and understanding approach. He explained everything to me in-depth, each step of the way, allowing me to completely understand what options I had. Matt always had my best interest in mind and was efficiency-driven throughout, making the process as time and cost-efficient as possible. Thank you, Matt, I would not have made it through the process without your professional help and personal touch.
Stowe Family Law have been fantastic so far. Communication has been detailed and clear, and my solicitor has been pro-active in helping me progress my case. I would gladly use them again in the future.
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A smooth, straightforward and stress-free process.
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My personal thanks to Katie Kilburn for all the professional help given to me during a difficult process. I would wholeheartedly recommend her services to anyone considering Stowe family law.
Client: Mr B
I am able to comment only on Emma Newman of Stowe Family Law having worked with her for a number of years. Emma has an excellent manner with her clients. She is empathetic and caring and they feel genuinely comfortable with her. Much of her work is from recommendations and referrals. She is also a very skilled lawyer and provides clear, systematic and structured advice. Emma is passionate about family law and prides herself on ensuring her clients are supported through whatever legal process she is guiding them through.
Client: Legal 500
Grateful for the good legal advice received when I needed it. Very professional service, with care and compassion. I thoroughly recommend.
Client: Mr S
I have known Paul for many years and consider him an expert in his field, when my personal circumstances changed and I was going through a difficult time he was the man I turned to. He dealt with my case both professionally and sensitively informing me of all of the options and repercussions along the way which was for me very important. I would not hesitate in recommending Paul to anyone who finds themselves in the position where they require the services Paul is qualified in and I would urge anyone to contact him first.