International Family Law


If a parent leaves the jurisdiction with a child under the age of 16 years of age without the consent of all who share parental responsibility, it will be considered a criminal offence (abduction) and an emergency application will need to be made to the court to secure the child’s immediate return.  It is also a criminal offence where a child is kept in a foreign country following an overseas trip without the appropriate consent to remain there (wrongful retention).  Time is usually of the essence in such a situation and it is important action is taken quickly to secure the safe return of a child who has been removed without consent.  An application can be made to the High Court and our expert solicitors will be able to prioritise your needs to work swiftly towards the safe return of the child. 

International Relocation

Equally, a parent may decide following the breakdown of a relationship that they wish to move abroad with their child and may face difficulties with obtaining consent from anyone who shares parental responsibility.  In such circumstances an application to the Court may be required.  The child’s welfare is the primary consideration for the court and a particular checklist of needs and requirements will be considered, usually individual to the case. 

The parent who wishes to relocate will need to show that the relocation is in the best interests of the child and the court will want to ensure the child’s relationship with the parent who is left behind does not suffer.  The following issues will need to be considered when presenting a case to the court:

  • Details of the home where the child will live.
  • Details of any support network for the child and carer.
  • The arrangements for the childs education.
  • How the relationship with the left behind parent will be managed in a positive way, including the frequency and cost of travel.
  • The reasons behind the relocation and the positive impact such a move may have on the child.

It is vital to present a case where any move is thoroughly planned and all the relevant factors have been considered and can be presented to the court effectively. 

Please contact us if you would like to find out more.