Father’s Rights When Mother Wants to Move (UK)

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Following the breakdown of a marriage or relationship, life can change in a lot of ways. It can often be difficult for all parties involved, especially when there are children in the equation. An issue that can occur during a separation is the relocation of a parent, where one parent wishes to move away and bring the children with them. Not only can this be emotionally challenging for the other parent, but it can also be legally complicated.

Whilst it is common in these cases for the mother to be the party seeking relocation with the children, it also applies to the father. Whether you wish to move, or your ex-partner is deciding to move with your child, it is essential to understand your rights and responsibilities.

Expert Family Law have a panel of family law solicitors with the experience and expertise required to assist you throughout the relocation process and can provide the legal support you need.

So what are a father’s rights when mother wants to move (UK)?


Is permission required to move somewhere else in the UK?


In the UK, there is not a legal requirement to gain consent to move a child within the country as long as that parent has parental responsibility. Therefore, there is not technically a need to obtain legal permission to move from the child’s other parent.

However, court orders can be obtained to prevent the parent seeking to relocate from moving if there is reason. Where possible, it is always advised to communicate with the other parent regarding both of your intentions to come to an amicable conclusion.

The relocating parent should get consent from the other parent before making a decision to avoid the breakdown of relationships. The Court will always consider the child’s welfare and the child’s educational interests when they are examining cases of relocation.


What are a father’s rights when mother wants to move? (UK)


Parental rights are granted to those who have parental responsibility. Having parental responsibility will offer you much more influence over where the child resides. Married or unmarried fathers, mothers, or partners that have been named on the birth certificate are all automatically granted parental responsibility.

If the father was not named on the birth certificate, it can be difficult for them to prevent the named partner from relocating. However, they are able to apply to the Court to gain parental responsibility.

If you have parental responsibility, the other parent must include you when making important decisions about the child involved.


Do I have to go to court to reach an agreement?


Relocation can be a disruptive and unsettling time for all children involved. This can be prevented by keeping the lines of communication honest and open at all times. The best approach is to try to find a way for both parents to agree before any plans are set into motion.

Alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation, can also be used in child arrangement cases. Family mediation is conducted by a neutral, qualified mediator who will help both parties to communicate with each other and enable you to reach a decision with their help. This will be done through a number of mediation meetings.

It is often recommended that mediation is attempted before initiating court proceedings as it can be less expensive, and it can be easier to solve any differences. However, it is important to note that the outcome of mediation is not always legally binding.

If you cannot reach an agreement through discussion or mediation, then court proceedings can be pursued.


Child relocation court proceedings


The issue of child relocation can be taken to Court in cases where the remaining parent commences legal proceedings against the parent who is seeking relocation. The remaining parent could seek to prevent the relocation by:


  • Applying for a Child Arrangements Order that will determine where the child should live
  • Applying for a Specific Issue Order and Prohibited Steps Order to stop a parent from relocating with the child
  • Enforcing an existing Child Arrangements Order that will detail the living arrangements of the child 

If a parent relocates with the child without informing the other parent at all, the Court can issue an order to force the return of the child. The Court has a lot of discretion, and the success or failure of a case will depend on how well the evidence in support or against the move is presented.

If the remaining partner is successful in obtaining a Child Arrangement Order, specifically one that determines where the child lives, then this parent will have more of a say in where the child lives.

In cases where the relocating parent already has an existing Child Arrangement Order that gives residence in their favour, it could be unlikely that the Court will order restrictions on where the relocating parent decides to move within the UK. This is unless the Child’s best interests would be affected by the relocation. If you are looking to initiate court proceedings, it is essential that you have an experienced family law solicitor on your side to represent you in the courtroom.


Father’s rights when mother wants to move UK: What do family law solicitors do?


Child relocation can bring up a lot of issues to consider. Opting to use family law solicitors can make the process easier and as stress free as possible. A family law solicitor will: 

  • Provide you with the right advice
  • Assist you with paperwork, forms and applications
  • Assist in avoiding court
  • Ensure your best interests are considered
  • Help you come to an amicable conclusion 

Throughout the legal process, you will need someone experienced in this field of law to fight for your best interests. Having the right team on your side can make the process as stress free as possible during this difficult time.


Our panel of family law solicitors


Our panel of friendly and professional lawyers have the expertise and experience to deal with your case professionally and with empathy. They will guide you through the legal process, helping you to make the difficult decisions in an understanding, non-judgmental manner.

Our panel of solicitors and experienced family law firms will help you to navigate a range of issues and disputes, such as relocation matters and will assist you in reaching an agreement on such issues.

Our panel of family law solicitors will provide pragmatic legal advice and assistance, guiding you through every step of the process.

Each solicitor we work with is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA)

If you would like to find out more about a father’s rights when mother wants to move (UK), get in touch with us today by filling in the contact form above.


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