What happens when one parent wants to move abroad with the children and the other parent wants the children to stay in the country? This is usually a very frightening and painful experience for any parent either faced with the threat of losing a child across time zones and cultures or being prevented from “going home”.

Relocation cases also throw up very difficult decisions for family judges to make and the English courts have been criticised in the past for being “pro relocation” favouring the parent who wants to take the children abroad. 
The initial findings of research just published by Oxford University in fact shows England is not out of step with other jurisdictions such as Canada and New Zealand. The research looks at the outcomes and patterns in recent cases and it’s interesting that where the emigrating parents reason for moving is ‘going home’ or ‘new job’ they are more likely to be successful than if the motivation is  ‘lifestyle’ or ‘other’.

One thing which is clear though in this very complicated and fraught area is that you should seek specialist legal advice early on to help you get the outcome you think is best for your family.

Elspeth Thomson and Lesley Monkhouse are Resolution accredited specialists in Children Law. Elspeth also undertakes Adoption work including International Adoption and Lesley is experienced in Child Abduction work.