Advice Centre


Can My Child’s Other Parent Stop Us Moving Abroad?

One of the most challenging situations divorcing couples can face is where one parent wants to move abroad. For many reasons, one party to a divorce or separation may need to relocate, whether that be for work or to be closer to family. Regardless of the reasons, it is important to understand the legal consequences of such a decision and the steps you must follow to avoid even greater difficulties later in the process. We understand that you may wish to or need to start a new life in another country with your children, but when you have children with the partner you are separating from, they have certain rights, and you may require their cooperation.

Our team regularly work with divorcing parents where one party wants to move abroad. We can help you come to a mutually agreeable solution, or where necessary, represent your best interests in Court proceedings. These cases can be difficult, so we would always advise you seek specialist legal advice on your specific circumstances. In this article, we look at what you can do if you wish to move abroad with your child.

Do I need permission from my former spouse/partner to move abroad with our child?

If you wish to move abroad with your child, you will require the consent of the child’s other parent or a Court order. 

What can I do if I wish to move abroad with my child and my partner objects?

There are several options available to you to reach an agreement with your former partner. We can help guide you through each stage.

Direct discussions

We would always recommend taking legal advice before any direct discussions about taking a child abroad. While you may feel you can discuss the topic in an honest and practical way, you want to be sure you present your case in the best way possible.


During mediation, a neutral third party, known as a mediator, will help to facilitate discussions between you and your child’s other parent. They will give both sides a chance to discuss their concerns and help you work towards a solution.

Discussions between solicitors

If you do not feel you can discuss the matter with the other parent, we can help you to reach an agreement by speaking to their solicitors on your behalf. We can communicate with them using letters, or arrange meetings to work through any issues. If you are unable to reach an agreement and you still wish to move abroad with your child, it may be necessary to issue Court proceedings.

How can a solicitor help me?

Most of our clients come to us when they wish to move abroad with their child because they cannot come to an agreement with their child’s other parent. It can be challenging to come to such an agreement, because there are essentially only two options: move abroad or stay. Where an agreement cannot be reached, a Court process may be necessary.

Can I just take my child abroad?

If you take your child overseas without the consent of the other parent or a Court order, this is regarded as child abduction. Child abduction can result in Court proceedings in both the UK and the country where you have taken the child to ensure the child is returned safely to the UK. Such action can also result in criminal proceedings being brought against you, so it is vital to secure the necessary permissions before taking a child abroad.

How will the Court decide?

If you want to move abroad with your child, it is essential to consider how the Court might look at your application. The most important factor for the Courts in these cases is the child’s welfare. Is it in the child’s best interests that they move abroad? We can help you to present evidence that supports your case.

Contact IMD Solicitors International Family Lawyers

It is always desirable for parents to come to an agreement in respect of the arrangements for their children, such as where the children should live, who they should spend time with, holiday contact, and taking a child abroad, whether temporarily or permanently. Our expert UK solicitors can advise you on the best possible solutions for you and your family. For specialist advice, call us today on 0330 107 0107 or complete our enquiry form, and we will get back to you without delay.

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