14th December 2016
Thrings Family Law team, helped a client achieve an agreement with their ex-partner in order to relocate their children to Europe.
Due to an exciting job opportunity, a client sought to relocate to Europe with their children, in a move that offered the client and children greater financial stability. The client’s ex-partner was highly resistant to the proposed move; they were currently based in the UK and satisfied with the stable contact arrangement already in place.
As with all child relocation agreements involving a British parent seeking to move a child outside the UK, both parents needed to reach an agreement to enable relocation. As their ex-partner was against the children’s relocation, our client approached us seeking clarity on their own legal position and advice on how to achieve the move.
We explained the law around consent and advised that, if an agreement couldn’t be reached between parents, the client would need to apply to the court for a specific issue order, delegating the decision to the court.
To avoid this, we used a highly analytical approach to illustrate how the move was in the children’s best interest – including the greater financial stability it offered, as well as improved quality of life and educational benefits. We helped the client prepare a 40-page relocation proposal, drawing on our knowledge to pre-empt the court’s considerations when deciding whether to allow a child to be moved abroad. We also devised detailed contact plans for the ex-partner, including travel cost considerations. The proposal formed part of a strategic, cost-effective measure as, were the case to proceed to court, it would form the basis of the witness statements used.
Throughout the process, we drew on our long-standing experience of family law to handle the significant level of emotion involved from both sides. Approaching the case with sensitivity, we managed the client’s expectations and devised a proposal that was in the children’s best interests while acting fairly towards both parties.
Due to this meticulous proposal, after some careful negotiation we achieved an outcome for our client in line with their original objectives, allowing them to relocate their children to Europe without going through the court. Drawing on our cross-jurisdictional experience, we then created an agreement, signed by both parties, providing each with clarity and consistency for parent-child contact going forward.