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Moving Abroad, The Issues

Author: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 27 April 2015 |
 
Moving Abroad, The Issues

If you’re thinking of moving abroad with your child, there are many issues to consider. One of the main issues is that of abduction. If a parent shares parental responsibility, they are not allowed to take the child abroad for more than a month except for two situations: firstly, if the non resident parent consents or secondly if they have sought and obtained permission from the court.

Without this permission, taking a child abroad is abduction, even if the child is travelling with the ‘with care’ parent.

Going to Court

If there is a requirement to go to court to seek permission to go abroad, the court will consider a number of elements: the welfare and best interests of the child (in particular, if the parent wishes to take the child abroad for a better life); whether or not the proposed move is an attempt by the parent with care to stop the child seeing the non-resident parent; any harm that may come to the child; the capability of each parent; and the child’s wishes.

Jurisdiction of the CSA

The Child Support Agency only has jurisdiction in the UK, in other words England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. However, it does not include the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. If one or more parties live abroad, the CSA is unable to give a calculation of the amount of maintenance a non-resident parent should pay. If either parent or the child is not resident in the UK, the court does have the power to make and vary a maintenance order.

Non-Resident Parent Abroad

If the non-resident parent is working for the UK civil service abroad, is in the armed forces, for a UK governmental organisation or is working for a UK company abroad (and is paid from a UK payroll) then the CSA will still be able to collect money from them. In all other cases if the non-resident parent is abroad the parent with care can go to court in the UK to apply for child support.

There are procedures in place that are designed to assist parents with care in the UK collect money from non-resident parents abroad, in particular REMO (Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders). REMO will assist UK residents by enforcing maintenance orders abroad to collect money from non-resident parents. It must be stressed however that the UK cannot compel or order foreign jurisdictions to act in a certain way or within a certain timescale. In addition, not all countries in the world participate in REMO.

If a parent with care who is in the UK wishes to apply for maintenance from a person who is not living in the UK, they do not need to employ the services of a solicitor. All that is required is that they attend their local magistrates court. If there is an existing order, they make an application to have that order enforced in the country where the non-resident parent lives and if there is no order they can ask child support authorities in the foreign country to make a maintenance order for them.

Non Resident Parent living in the UK

The REMO (Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders) agreement with participating countries works both ways. This means that if a parent with care and the child both live abroad, they can apply for a foreign maintenance order which will be enforceable against the non-resident parent who is living in the UK.

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Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
[Add a Comment]
@Sailon - As far as I can see, Dubai is not a member of REMO, where parents can apply to enforce or change a child maintenance decision made in UK courts. Therefore you would have to seek some legal advice on whether you can get a court enforcement on your existing order.
ChildSupportLaws - 29-Apr-15 @ 1:49 PM
My Ex left the UK for Dubai a year after the court order was agreed. This stated that he must pay maintenance and finance for the children's extra curricular activities. He works for the famous Dubai airline but only pays me a small amount per week for our 3 children and nothing towards the extras. Is there anything that can be done?
Sailon - 27-Apr-15 @ 5:10 AM
@sashmack - if you went to court his opinion may be allowed now. However, at age 16, he can leave home without his parents' consent.
ChildSupportLaws - 17-Apr-15 @ 2:28 PM
Hi, what age does the child have to be to take out of the country legally. Son is nearly 14. Planning Australia in the future don't want to go through courts and am happy to wait. Thank
sashmack - 16-Apr-15 @ 2:25 PM
@Tanna - You would have to apply under Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO). They are maintenance orders enforced by courts or other authorities for parents who live in other countries. South Africa is a member country, but you would have to seek some legal advice in order to see whether they can enforce it from South Africa to UK.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Apr-15 @ 2:49 PM
@KiTE_D - yes, I'm afraid access does not depend upon financial support, so your ex is well within her rights to request this.
ChildSupportLaws - 13-Apr-15 @ 11:35 AM
I have a child with my ex-husband and he currently lives in the UK.Myself and my child reside in South Africa.He has not been paying the full child support but part of it.Is there any way i could get him to pay the full amount every month.I am not sure what the laws are or how they work.Please advise. Thank you
Tanna - 12-Apr-15 @ 12:36 AM
Hi, I gave consent for my ex partner to take my daughter to Australia 5 years ago.she resides in Oz with her husband. I was paying support through the csa up until she left and then i stopped once they emigrated. I have recently received a letter from the Australian CSA asking for details of my salary etc as they have opened a case (5 Years since they left).considering i now have no access and they have amigrated as a family do i have to send money to support their new life in Australia?? They have asked me to get in contact with the CSA and given an Australian phone number.i have ignored it for now thanks
KiTE_D - 9-Apr-15 @ 12:41 PM
@lovethis - You can contact the CMS directly via the link here and an advisor on its freephone customer service line should be able to help.
ChildSupportLaws - 8-Apr-15 @ 11:35 AM
Hi, my sons father lives in ireland and works for a company which isbased in Isle of man. Does this small fact hold any significance in using csa to assist with upholding child maintenance responsibilities? What is my best route to apply for support as our family arrangement is no longer honoured and previously was sporadic with perhaps only 10 monthly payments over 14 years. thank you for your time
lovethis - 5-Apr-15 @ 7:37 AM
Dear Nina. What should that permission from the father include? Do we need witnesses for the father's signature? Thanks.
kkati - 2-Apr-15 @ 6:02 PM
@kkati - if you are concerned, then you can try getting it in writing.
Nina - 2-Apr-15 @ 12:09 PM
Dear all. Please can you help me. The father of my child is American, My baby girl was born in th UK, both of us are British citizens. Unfortunately the relationship ended abruptly due to his infidelity. The father left to go back to America after the birth. My question is the Child support maintenance fee from him, is it calculated under the UK or US?
ANGELA_lefted high a - 1-Apr-15 @ 7:19 PM
I would like to ask for advice about moving abroad with a child. He was born in he UK (british father, mother is Hungarian, not married, not living together, he pays child support) She needs to move back to Hungary and he verbally agreed but she doesn't want any issues in the future e.g. he claiming she "abducted" the child. What do you recommend?
kkati - 31-Mar-15 @ 4:52 PM
@writer - I am sorry to hear this. As specified in the article, there are procedures in place that are designed to assist parents with care in the UK collect money from non-resident parents abroad, in particular REMO (Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders). REMO will assist UK residents by enforcing maintenance orders abroad to collect money from non-resident parents. It must be stressed however that the UK cannot compel or order foreign jurisdictions to act in a certain way or within a certain timescale. In addition, not all countries in the world participate in REMO. I have included a gov.uk link which will tell you the countries and regions which participate here . I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Mar-15 @ 10:57 AM
Hello..I had a son with a British citizen. We are not married but my son has his surname in a birth certificated. He was living in my country (Peru) during almost 3 years. He gone then i didnt see him during almost 3 years. I was supporting my child all this time.. I want to know if i have any right according uk laws. The father is living in uk and he had problems with law being on veil during one year because he was living at his friends house and police found drugs. He doenst want support our son. Now he said I m on my own and the child too. Do i have any right according British laws? I need help.
Writer - 28-Mar-15 @ 4:07 PM
@baby - he can apply through the courts for a Prohibited Steps Order if he thinks that the move is not in the best interests of his children. See Law & Parents article here which should explain in more detail.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Mar-15 @ 12:04 PM
My partner has 2 kids from other marriage,they are both portuguese and so are the kids and one of them was born in the uk!!! She has full custody but he sees both kids every 2 weeks ate weekends,she now wants to move to portugal but my partner doesnt want to lose hes kids, what can we do??? Please help us!!! Thanks
baby - 20-Mar-15 @ 10:05 PM
@kmoza - I can't advise whether you will be allowed to take your child abroad as this will be for the court to decide based upon whether it considers it is in the best interests of your daughter. However, if your child has had no contact with him and he has never supported her, then you stand a better chance of being given legal permission.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Mar-15 @ 10:58 AM
@asra - you won't be able to if the country is not under REMO law - but I thought India was?
Fee - 19-Mar-15 @ 2:08 PM
Hi! I have separated from my partners about 10 years now,I had a daughter with him, he had not be taking care of her and does not bother to take her or visit her. I have a job offer in abroad and asked for his consent to take my daughter with me he refused to give me.How can I get the consent through the court and what are the chances of me getting it based on the fact that he does not visit her or take care of her?
kmoza - 17-Mar-15 @ 9:57 PM
hi guys...hope uall doin well plzzz i need help if some is in my situation nd know wat to do.... i hv 3kids under age 8...aboy and 2girls father was workin in uk nd he was doin the childrens maintainance till last year only 1year he paid nd all of sudden he stopped nd ran away to india nd now got married to someonelse so how do i claim for kids maintainance frm uk to india????already spk to REMO THEY DONT COVER place like india....plzzz advice me many thanks....
asra - 17-Mar-15 @ 10:55 AM
@Kofi - I have directed you to the gov.uk site 'living or working abroad or offshore' here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Mar-15 @ 12:44 PM
I would be very grateful if you could point me to publications from UKBA or HMRC that clearly explain that one can work for a company based in the UK while living abroad and the tax obligations (if any) under such circumstances. Thanks
Kofi - 4-Mar-15 @ 6:30 PM
@Help - she can only really take it back to the court that the court order was made in and claim for breach of court order.
Becca - 20-Feb-15 @ 2:05 PM
My sister is a resident of Bangladesh who married a British citizen present and settled in the UK. It was a family arranged marriage. They had a kid in 2004 and divorced thereafter. The man left Bangladesh and came back to settle in the UK. Part of the condition of his divorce was he would provide for the kid until he is seven and bring him to UK afterwards. However, he has completely abounded him and my sister is struggling to provide for the kid. What can we do?
Help - 19-Feb-15 @ 5:39 PM
@Lil em - he could if he decided to apply for parental responsibility through the courts along with a 'prohibitive steps order'. You don't say whether he has access, as this might make a difference. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Feb-15 @ 11:36 AM
@Ted - you would have to request a 'specific issue order' through the UK courts.Please see link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 19-Feb-15 @ 11:15 AM
i am moving abroad with my 4 year old daughter the farther is not on the birth certificate but does pay maintenance does he have rights to stop me taking my child abroad with me?
lil emm - 17-Feb-15 @ 6:36 PM
I live in the USA and have 2 children in the UK. I never married my ex but she has now married. I keep in regular contact with the kids via my parents who have access to them. In previous years I have been allowed to take them on holiday when I visit the UK but my ex now wants to deny me any access to the kids. I have tried to reason with her but she and her husband will not even respond any more. Do I have rights to see them and take them on holiday when I visit the UK?
Ted - 17-Feb-15 @ 3:48 PM
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