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Living your dream... want to move abroad but can you?

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Have you dreamed of living abroad and following a marital split the time seems to be right? A new life but what if you have children? How do you deal with the negotiations with the non-resident parent and what if they refuse to allow you to take the children?

If one parent has a court order for the children to reside with them they can take the children away for one month without the other party’s consent but if they want to permanently leave they need a court order to do so if the non resident parent refuses.

So how does one go about such an application to try and ensure it is successful? The most important thing is planning and preparation. If you have to go to court make sure you have done your homework and you have all the documents and information a Judge would want to see.

However tempting it is to get away from an ex-spouse, do not let this be the reason you choose to move. If this is the motive the Judge is likely to realise this and will not grant the application so think long and hard. If the reason is to pursue an amazing job opportunity or to make a better life the Judge is likely to be more sympathetic to the application.

Another factor that needs to be considered carefully is how you are going to facilitate the child or children keeping contact with the non-resident parent. There may be a financial implication in that the child or children may need to return to this country for holidays. You may wish to consider additional contact being maintained through Skype or other communications such as Viber or Tango.

It is important to show that you can financially afford to meet the children’s needs and to provide suitable housing. Brochures should be obtained with costings to show how and where the children will be living. You need to consider appropriate schooling and proximity to the home and get the other parent’s agreement to the schooling. It is also important to provide details of appropriate medical and dental care so all needs can be met. The school may be private so funding will need to be considered and demonstrated how it can be paid. It is useful to obtain a full curriculum and brochure of the school. If there are any religious requirements you must demonstrate how this can be provided for the child and if necessary how both parents’ cultures can be met.

It is in everybody’s interests to try and agree any arrangements concerning children but if this is not possible make sure you have done your homework before you apply to the court and ensure that you choose a specialist family solicitor who has significant experience with children cases as we do at Stephensons.

By Family Law Solicitor & Mediator Gillian Davies

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