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Relocating after separation within the United Kingdom

If parents separate, be they spouses, heterosexual or same sex, cohabitants or civil partners, it is not uncommon for either one of them to wish to relocate within the United Kingdom, taking the children of the relationship with them.

Great difficulty can arise, as the parent who “remains behind” will be devastated by the prospect of removal of their child to another location within the United Kingdom, perhaps hundreds of miles, and many hours of travel away.  That parent may wish to prevent the removal of the children by the other parent, and, if the removal has already taken place in a clandestine fashion, without consent, then that parent will wish to seek the return of the child.

Similarly, a parent with whom children reside may have a legitimate reason to move to another location within the United Kingdom and may want legal assistance in arranging such a move.

Unlike removal of children out with the United Kingdom it is not unlawful for a parent to remove children within the United Kingdom, although there is an obligation to consult with their parent which is not legally Enforceable This obligation to consult may be ignored by the parent wishing to make the move and disputes between parents will therefore often arise..

As in all matters relating to children, in such disputes the welfare of the child is paramount. Is it in the interests of the child to travel to another country within the United Kingdom with one parent, leaving the other behind, or is it in the interests of the child to remain with the parent seeking to prevent removal with or without the parent who seeks a move?  If, based upon the welfare of the child, a Court decides that a move will benefit the child, then inevitably, a major issue becomes how it will be best to maintain contact in a relationship between the child and the parent who remains behind.

These are complex and difficult cases with which our team have substantial experience.  Whether you wish to relocate to another country within the United Kingdom with your child, or whether you wish to prevent such removal, please contact a member of the team on 0131 226 6541 or 0141 332 5666 for advice upon this difficult and emotive subject.


We offer an initial consultation with one of our expert family solicitors for a fixed fee of £250 plus VAT. During that meeting we will provide you with advice on your situation and your options going forward. For more information please contact a member of our expert team on 0131 226 6541 or 0141 332 5666



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“…The team has a niche in surrogacy matters and also handles international child abduction cases alongside other family law work such as pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements…” Legal 500

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