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Moving away after a divorce

It is not uncommon after a divorce or relationship break down for one person to want a fresh start and to move away, but this can be particularly difficult where children are involved. This scenario commonly happens when:

  • One person originates from another country and wants to return either with or without the child.
  • One person has a new job or a new partner and has an opportunity to relocate with or without the child.
  • A change of lifestyle which presents a better quality of life for the person and child.
  • To move further away from the previous spouse and to make it more difficult for ongoing contact with the other parent.

If you are planning to relocate to another country with your child then it is advised that a written agreement is reached otherwise if might be necessary to go to court to obtain permission.

The court will always put the welfare needs of the child first but they will also consider the reasons and intentions behind wanting to move, the effect this will have on the other parent and the child and what opportunities there will be for maintaining contact between them in the future. Since Brexit there may be issues regarding residency and the enforceability of Court orders in EU countries and specialist advice should be sought.

It can take a number of months for an application to the court to be heard and it can be an expensive process for the person trying to initiate the move. It is therefore always better if an agreement can be reached without having to go to court and mediation can help.

If the move is likely to be closer to home but perhaps a few hours away from where the child is currently living then again it is advisable to reach an amicable agreement to ensure the child and parent left behind are able to maintain their relationship and contact.

Getting a fresh start and moving away after a marriage or relationship breakdown is not always easy, so take advice to help you to make the best decisions for your future.

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