If the children live with one parent, the “primary carer” (PC) and the children have contact with the other parent, the “non-resident parent” (NRP), it is often assumed that should the primary carer wish to relocate, then the children will be relocating with them and that this cannot be challenged.
However, this is not the case. A parent does have the right to try and stop the other from moving and can seek a court order to prevent the other parent from relocating with the children.
The first step when a parent wishes to relocate is for both parties to try and reach an agreement between themselves. If possible, this avoids the need to go to court and the potential upset this can cause.
However, the relocation of children, especially outside the jurisdiction (a different country), will inevitably have a huge impact on the contact that one parent will have with their children and so an agreement between the parties is not always possible.
If an agreement cannot be reached, then an application to the court will be necessary to obtain approval to relocate with the children. Alternatively, the parent that is opposing the removal of the children can make an application to the court to prevent the relocation.
The party that wants to move away will need to demonstrate that the move is positive for the child and that there will be a suitable place for them to live, that there is no interruption to education and how the child can keep in touch with the parent that has been left behind.
Can my ex stop me moving away with my children?