Nobody knows with certainty what journey lies around the next corner. Sometimes life springs surprises. Perhaps a new employment opportunity beckons but requires relocation. Perhaps for a new relationship to continue, relocation is necessary. If you have children and are a separated or divorced parent, with the children residing with you, you may need the other parent's permission and would do so to relocate out with the United Kingdom, if he or she has parental rights and responsibilities. Even a move within the United Kingdom can require the non-resident parent's consent if it affects the operation of contact between the children and their non-resident parent. If consent to relocate is withheld, McIntosh Family Law can apply to the Courts for a Court Order enabling relocation. The test is always what is in the best interests of the children. The Courts will need full information regarding the proposed relocation. They need to consider the existing arrangements and what is proposed to maintain contact between the absent parent and the children. Arrangements for maintaining that contact are extremely important. Continuity of education, suitable accommodation and ability to support the children financially are all important factors. Having a local support network, and the availability of medical and dental practices are also factors. We are happy to advise and represent a parent seeking to relocate, or a parent seeking to oppose relocation.
In opposing an application for relocation, any counter-proposal for the children's residence needs to be equally carefully planned, addressing accommodation, education, financial provision and most importantly, the proposed contact arrangements for contact with the other parent. The children's views may be taken depending on their age and maturity. The test always is what is in the best interests of the children. Would it be better that the Order which is sought is granted, than not? The Court will give due weight to the views of the children, but it is not bound to follow those views if it considers it inappropriate to do so.