There are many reasons why people want to move abroad.

It may be reasons associated with family, friends, culture, work, or personal preference.

There are several logistical factors to consider when moving abroad.

One of the most difficult considerations is whether you can move abroad with your child.

The short answer is yes, you can move abroad with your child, providing every person with parental responsibility gives written consent to you relocating with the child outside of the UK or you have the court's permission.

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What if I do not have consent from the other parent?

If you do not have consent to permanently move abroad with your child, but you attempt to do so, then you are committing an offence of child abduction under the Child Abduction Act 1984.

If you do not have consent from the other parent, you could consider attending mediation.

A trained mediator will speak to both parties separately first to consider if mediation is suitable.

Mediation is voluntary, and the mediator will help guide both parties through discussion to try and help you reach an agreement.

If you cannot reach an agreement at mediation, you would need to obtain the court's permission to relocate with your child abroad.

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Making a court application

If you are looking to move abroad with your child and do not have the other parent's consent, you must apply to the court for a specific issue order by completing a C100 application.

Any application is determined in accordance with the child's welfare and considered against the welfare checklist.

The court will consider whether granting the application is in the child's best interests.

There is no presumption in favour of an application to relocate by the primary carer.

The court will consider the application considering all the circumstances of the case.

The court will consider the genuineness of the application.

This means you will need to have a carefully thought out and realistic plan to show that you are genuine about relocating.

You will need to think about the following:

  • Proposed living arrangements;
  • Employment opportunities
  • Education considerations for the child
  • Healthcare arrangements
  • Details of your support network after the proposed move;
  • Your plans to maintain contact with the other parent and wider family
  • The impact on you if you were prevented from relocating

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The court may seek the assistance of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass).

Cafcass may be directed to prepare a report, making recommendations to the court.

While Cafcass's recommendation is not binding, the court will strongly emphasise it.

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Taking a child on holiday

If you are not looking to relocate permanently but rather take your child on holiday, then you will still need to obtain permission from every person who holds parental responsibility for the child or make an application to the court.

If you have a Child Arrangements Order in place which names you as the person with whom the child shall live, then you can take a child out of the UK without permission for a period of up to 28 days unless a court order prevents you from doing so.

If there is no Child Arrangements Order in place, then you will need to obtain written consent from every person that holds parental responsibility.

You will need to take written permission to the UK border in case there is a dispute about taking the child abroad.

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If you need legal advice concerning whether you can move abroad with your child, please contact Myerson Solicitor's Family Team on: