Relocation after a Divorce or Separation

Man relocating stuff

For some people, relocation is the next step after a divorce or a separation, since they want to get away from the place that caused so much distress. Sometimes, relocation is driven by their need to stay away from their ex-spouse, especially if the divorce was quite bitter for both parties. However, relocation can be quite complicated when children are involved. This is because – unless otherwise judged by a court – both parents have equal responsibilities towards their children after a divorce.

Family solicitors in Portsmouth, such as Andrew & Andrew, will advise both parties that all of their decisions must reflect the well-being of their children. Having said that, someone cannot just take their children and relocate to another part of the UK or abroad without having consulted their ex-partner, even if custody is not shared. This can result in an emergency Prohibited Steps Order that could delay or prohibit relocation after all.

What does the law state?

UK law is very clear when it comes to parental responsibilities. The Children Act 1989 states that ‘parental responsibility’ and the ‘paramountcy principle’ should be practised after a divorce. In simple words, no matter who is granted custody of the children, both parents have the responsibility to take care of them and if they cannot agree on the terms, then the court will make a decision based on the best interests of the children.

Family solicitors in Portsmouth will let divorced partners know that while they have every right to relocate after their divorce, this needs to be done in accordance with their ex-partner. If this consent cannot be granted, then family solicitors in Portsmouth will apply to the court for permission. Eventually, the court will decide whether ‘leave to remove’ is granted or rejected.

Preparing for a relocation court hearing

Whether someone wants to move from one place to another in the UK or abroad with their children, or wishes to prevent their ex-partner from doing so, a court hearing should occur. The court will examine the specifics of each application and decide whether a relocation is genuine, necessary and/or beneficial for the children.