Relocating with a child after divorce / separation

Published: February 7th, 2023

7 min read

Following the conclusion of a recent case of mine I've put together some top tips if you are considering relocating with a child. In short these include:

  • You must confer and have agreement with everyone who has parental responsibility for that child. If you find communication difficult with the other parent, then consider other forms of ADR such as mediation.
  • I can't stress this enough: research! research! research! Especially if it involves changing school for that child. Look at what schools are in the local vicinity, ofsted reports and recent results, this is all readily available online.
  • If your child has particular needs, consider how those are going to be met. If they are under support services, does the new area offer an alternative that would be easily accessible?
  • Give careful consideration to how the child can maintain a relationship with the other parent? If the move would mean a change in child arrangements, how can this be mitigated?
  • Plan a smooth transition. If there are going to be short periods of instability, how can these be minimised?
  • Is there support in the new area, friends/family?
  • The welfare of the child should be paramount in any decision making. Carefully balance the welfare of the child in their current setting compared to a new setting. Does the move benefit them in the short and long term? Giving careful thought to the relationships the child has in the current setting.
  • Don't presume if the move is only a short distance away that you can just up and go with the child. Particularly if it will involve the child moving school or away from any support services. In a recently handed down Judgment in a case of mine a parent was prevented from relocating with a child an hours commute away from my client because it wasn't in the best interests of the child.

Whether you are wanting to relocate or are concerned of the other parent wanting to relocate with a child, it is always advisable to seek some legal advice to make sure that you are in the strongest position possible.

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