Deciding where the children will live following a divorce or separation can be difficult, but most families reach an agreement sooner or later. The parent with whom they usually live becomes the resident parent and the other the non-resident parent. The time the non-resident spends with the children is known as contact, and this normally occurs according to an agreed schedule. Most non-resident parents attach great value to contact because it allows them to maintain a healthy relationship with their children.

Moving elsewhere in the UK

As time passes and circumstances change, the resident parent may one day decide to move home. They might have begun a new relationship or new job or just want to pursue fresh opportunities elsewhere. Whatever the reason, moving home will often have some degree of affect on the contact arrangements with the other parent.

If the new home is relatively close, the required adjustments will be small and contact can continue with a minimum of interruption. But what if the resident parent is planning to move a long distance away? The non-resident will then be facing the need to travel much further to see their children, making regular contact more difficult and expensive. This is a recipe for conflict between parents who may already have a strained relationship. If the parent is planning to take the children to live abroad, either with or without permission, we can also help in this regard. Find out about our service relating to international child relocation.

A resident parent planning to move a significant distance across the UK from their previous home should consult the other parent and try to a negotiate new contact arrangements. Perhaps they will agree to no longer seeing the children every other weekend if they get to spend longer with them during the summer holidays for example? What if the resident parent offers to make a contribution to the additional travel expenses faced by their ex?

Seek advice

The issue of a parent moving away with the children is one we have successfully dealt with on many occasions before. We know this is a stressful and emotional time, and unsurprisingly, parents often struggle to reach an agreement. If you find yourself in this situation, seek legal advice as soon as you can. Here at Major Family Law, we provide calm and supportive advice to both resident and non-resident parents involved in such disputes. Careful preparation can help both sides achieve their goals with a minimum of confrontation and disruption.

In circumstances where the parents cannot agree and things proceed to court, we can also robustly defend your case and provide expert advice and support from start to finish.

Family courts will try to reach the best settlement possible in the family’s unique circumstances. The welfare and best interests of the children will always be the primary consideration throughout. Sometimes these will mean allowing the move to take place, and sometimes they will mean ruling against it.  Having the right legal representation can make all the difference. If you are planning to move away or the other parent is planning to move, contact us today for a free 45 minute consultation with one of our solicitors to help you understand your options.