Children – Removal from the jurisdiction

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The issue of one parent removing children permanently from the jurisdiction is understandably fraught with emotion.

If there is a Residence Order in place – then the children may not be removed for longer than one month (from the United Kingdom) without leave of the Court. If there is no Residence Order then good practice still requires that a permission of the other parent – or in default the Court is sought. Failure to secure these consents may amount to child abduction with civil and criminal sanctions (see separate briefing note).

In determining an application by one parent for permission to remove children abroad a Court must give paramount consideration to the needs of the child and must consider:

  • What are the motives of the parent seeking leave.
  • What would happen if the Court refused to give consent.
  • What plans has the person seeking leave made for practical issues such as accommodation, education and support of the children. Have language and other practical questions be considered.
  • Is the child old enough to express a view and if so – what is it?
  • What effect would removal have upon contact between the child and the other parent?

This is a controversial area of law and there is recent case law involving the Human Rights implications of the current state of the law. There has recently been an International Convention of Lawyers seeking to establish consistency of law between different legal jurisdictions.

This is an area of law in which we predict that there will be change!

Lawson Lewis Blakers. have dealt with a number of cases involving relocation of children (both within the U.K. and abroad). Advice at an early stage is essential.



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Rebecca Cole

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Mary Browne 


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