Child Relocation Law

Whether you or a former partner intend to move to another part of the UK or live abroad permanently, relocation raises many issues. These can be particularly unsettling when children are involved, making it one of the most difficult areas of family law.

The best approach is to try to set differences aside and attempt to reach a mutually acceptable decision that takes into account the interests and rights of all those involved. If a party tries to go it alone, without being properly informed, there can be vast repercussions.

At MacRoberts, our family law solicitors are some of the best in Scotland. Headed by Partner and Accredited Family Law Specialist, Mediator and Collaborative Family Lawyer Jacqueline Stroud, our family law team work closely with clients, whether they’re based in the UK or abroad, to help them resolve relocation issues and formalise arrangements. Here we provide a brief overview of some of the relocation matters we regularly assist with. For more information and to arrange an initial free 15-minute consultation, please contact us.

Child Relocation Lawyers Scotland

The residence of children is often a contentious and complex issue if the parents are separated or divorced. This is likely to be exacerbated if a parent wants to relocate to another country, whether within the UK or abroad.

If a parent wants to move to another country with their children, whether within the UK or beyond, they must get consent from the other parent and any other person with parental rights and responsibilities. If an agreement cannot be reached, then a specific issue order must be obtained from the courts allowing child relocation. If a relocating parent takes children out of the country without consent or a court order, they could face child abduction proceedings.

As in most family law matters, the welfare and best interests of the children is the paramount consideration, and it is often in everyone’s favour if an agreement can be reached as to how relocation can be managed. If this isn’t possible, then it may be necessary to ask the courts to resolve the dispute.

UK or International Child Abduction

If a child is removed to another part of the UK without the other parents’ consent, the parent left behind can apply to the Scots courts for an order for their child’s return. If granted, this order is enforceable in the part of the UK where the child has been taken.

It is a criminal offence to relocate children abroad without the appropriate consent. The criminal justice system is therefore engaged if children are taken across international boundaries without the consent of the other parent or a court order allowing relocation.

Child abduction is a very serious matter. If this issue is concerning you in any way, please contact us at the earliest opportunity.

MacRoberts – Trusted Family Law Solicitors in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee & Scotland

Drawing on over 45 years combined knowledge and experience, within one of Scotland’s most prestigious independent law firms, the family law team at MacRoberts are leaders in their field.

We recognise that most of our clients want to maintain as much as possible, in terms of their financial security. Using the vast resources and cross-departmental expertise at our disposal, we pride ourselves on finding and implementing innovative, practical solutions for all our clients, whether they are based in Scotland or abroad.

We also understand that expense can be an additional concern, which is why we always aim to keep costs down and are as transparent and upfront as possible about the fees involved. For a free, initial 15-minute consultation, whatever family law matter you may be facing, please contact us.

Glasgow Office
0141 303 1100

Edinburgh Office
0131 229 5046

Dundee Office
01382 339 340


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