Relocating within the United Kingdom
It is not uncommon for a parent to want to relocate within the jurisdiction with a child following a divorce or separation. It may be that the parent wishes to be closer to their family and support network or needs to relocate in order to find work and afford a home. For more information watch our video here.
We will guide you through these decisions and discussions, offering sensitive, tailored support to resolve the issues you may face.
As with external relocation – a move away from the UK – a relocation within the UK with a child following a divorce or separation may be challenged by the other parent. They may foresee a change in their relationship with their child because of the geographical distance involved.
At FLiP we offer exceptional legal expertise in advising parents on the relocation of children within the jurisdiction. Whether you are seeking our advice to reach an agreement with the other parent or if you find yourself making or defending a Court application, we will guide and support you through the whole process with confidence and the benefit of considerable experience.
Frequently Asked Questions →
Questions that we are commonly asked about a relocation within the jurisdiction include:
I want to relocate with my children to another part of the country. Do I need the consent of the other parent?
Where there is a Child Arrangements Order in force which specifically states with whom the children will live, there is no need for that parent to obtain permission from the other parent (as long as contact can still take place). Similarly, where there is no Child Arrangements Order in place, an application to the Court for permission to relocate with the child is not required provided the other parent does not object to the move and it does not impact on the contact regime or the child’s schooling etc.
If the other parent objects to the move, however, the parent wishing to relocate with the child will need to make an application to the Court for a Specific Issue Order. If a parent wishes to object to the proposed move an application for a Prohibited Steps Order should be made. If there is a Child Arrangements Order in place, the parent opposing the move may also make an application to the Court requesting that a condition be placed on the Child Arrangements Order regarding the specific place where the child is to reside. This will, however, only be applied in exceptional circumstances.
How long will it take to get the Court’s permission? If there is no Child Arrangements Order in place and the other parent does not agree to my moving away with children, how long will it take to get the Court’s permission?
The process can take quite a long time (because of the relatively slow speed of the Court) usually a minimum of six months and sometimes a bit longer. However the process can occasionally be completed more quickly if it is an emergency.
How much notice do I need to give?
There is no minimum notice period required but, as explained above, if consent is not forthcoming from your former partner and a Court application is necessary, the process can take quite a long time.
What do I need to show to get the Court’s permission?
These types of application are not straightforward – the ramifications for the children are significant. The intended move needs to be thoroughly and carefully prepared. It is much better to have a well considered plan before you actually apply to the Court. Broadly, you will need to show that the intended relocation is well thought through and is in the child’s best interests. You will need to be able to demonstrate a plan for how the children will maintain a meaningful relationship with the parent being left behind, to include spending time with them.
How do we manage school holidays? I still want a holiday with the children and don’t want all of their holiday time to be taken up with them visiting their other parent.
This is the sort of thing that would need to be considered and addressed as part of the process of obtaining the Court’s permission to relocate. The Court is likely to want to ensure that the children get to spend holiday time with both of their parents.
How much will it cost?
It is difficult to say how much it might cost to secure permission to relocate with the children – each case is different. If your plans are well thought through and meet the needs of the children (to including spending time with the other parent), the other parent’s consent might be secured more easily than you may think. If the consent is not forthcoming and a formal Court application is required, the costs can be quite significant – so it is essential that matters are prepared and planned well and efficiently.
We have some of the very best London divorce lawyers and mediators, along with accomplished arbitrators, family consultants and counsellors. There’s no one better to handle your case.
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