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Relocating a child - in or out?

View profile for Melanie Loxley
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In the recent case of Re R (a child) it was argued that if a parent relocated with their child within the UK, without the consent of the other parent, the law should provide for that child’s summary return to their usual home, just as it does in international relocation or abduction cases. 

The argument has sound logic – the effect of removing a child from their usual home is the same, whether the move is 100 miles away or 1000 miles away. Sadly, the Judge did not buy this argument and felt that the court should simply focus on the welfare of the child, as it would in any other Children Act case, albeit swiftly.

Those of us who are familiar with the family courts know that there is nothing particularly swift about Children Act proceedings. There is a real risk that by the time the matter can be heard by the court at a substantive hearing, a status quo will have been established for the child to live in their new home.

It is crucial that urgent steps are taken if it becomes clear that a parent is planning to relocate or has already done so.  We have a specialist team of lawyers who can act quickly and appropriately.  Please contact us if you find yourself in such a situation. I am based at our Colchester Office and can be contacted on 01206 217384, or email me at mel.loxley@birkettlong.co.uk.

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