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I want to move abroad with my children. How can I do this?

You will need permission to move your children abroad with you from anyone else who has parental responsibility for the children, even if you have a residence order in place. If you move abroad without getting the other parent’s (or anyone else with parental responsibility) permission then you risk being accused of child abduction and would have to deal with the serious consequences this entails.

If the other parent won’t give you permission for the move, as is often the case, you will need to go through the courts and apply for ‘leave to remove’.

First of all the court will consider the child’s welfare and then the parent’s reasons for wanting to take them abroad. It will also consider what will happen with things such as the child’s education and contact with other family members. The other parent’s reasons for wanting them to stay are also considered before any kind of conclusion is reached. The court will also consider what will happen if the parent wanting to move abroad cannot go or take their child. An important consideration for the court is the principle that what will harm the main carer will harm the child.

You should make sure that your case has been well thought out and you present evidence of how you will manage future contact with the other parent. This will make it more likely that the court will choose in your favour, although child welfare always has to come first.

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