My family and I are considering moving to another country.

In the modern world the migration of entire families is far from unheard of. Whether it is moving for parents’ work, for children’s education or for a complete change of lifestyle, families are increasingly considering life outside the country they are currently living in.

If you are moving as a family, it is important to be aware that by moving you could be changing your child’s place of habitual residence overnight. This means that if there are any future disputes relating to your child the courts of the country you have moved to will be the ones to make any necessary decisions. A consequence of this is that if there is a breakdown in the relationship with the other parent, neither of you will be able to move your child to any other country, even to return to your original home country, without the consent of the other parent or a court order.

To find out more about the implications of moving abroad contact our advice line to discuss your situation.

I would like to move to another country with my child.

To move your child to another country you will need the consent of anyone else who has parental responsibility for your child, or the court of the country you child is living in. Moving without this consent may be an abduction, meaning that your child’s other parent may be able to use a court process to request the return of your child.

When asking the court for permission to relocate you will usually need to demonstrate to the court why you think the move is best for your child and how contact between your child and their other parent will continue after the move. The more evidence you can provide the better.

Relocation court proceedings will vary from country to country, so it is best to seek advice from a local specialist lawyer. Our advice line will also provide you with advice, information and support.

Mediation is also worth considering as an alternative to the court process. It may be that the other parent is open to the idea of the move, but they would like to make sure they will still be able to have contact with your child. If you would like more information about mediation then see the Mediation section of our site.

My child’s other parent would like to move with our child to another country.

To move your child to another country the other parent will need your consent, if you have parental responsibility, or the consent of the court. Moving your child without this consent may be a child abduction. If this happens you could use a legal process to ask for the return of your child.

If the other parent makes an application to the court for permission to relocate, this will be heard under the rules of the country your child is currently living in. You can contest this application. You would need to show why you feel it is best for your child to remain where they are, what support you are willing to provide to them and how your relationship may be affected by the proposed relocation. You can speak with our advice line and a specialist lawyer for further information.

It may be that you are willing to agree to your child moving, but want to understand what the arrangements are going to be and to make sure you are able to continue your relationship with your child after the move. In that case mediation may be the best environment for discussions to be had and for agreements to be made. Have a read of our Mediation section for more information.