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Moving Abroad, The Issues

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 11 Jan 2017 |
 
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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[Add a Comment]
Hello I need some advice so my child father not seen my daughter over a year and not pay a penny for her for her 4 years of her life and I want to moveabroadHow do I go about it
Sarah - 11-Jan-17 @ 6:43 PM
Juzzy - Your Question:
Hi. I'm planning on moving to Republic of Ireland but still wish to regularly come back to England so see my son, without issue from my ex, how do I go about making this legal agreement so she doesn'tCan't stop me Still seeing my son?

Our Response:
You would either have to consider mediation, please see link here. Or, if your ex refuses to consider mediation you would have the option to apply for a child arrangement order, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 9-Jan-17 @ 2:35 PM
Hi. I'm planning on moving to Republic of Ireland but still wish to regularly come back to England so see my son, without issue from my ex, how do I go about making this legal agreement so she doesn't Can't stop me Still seeing my son?
Juzzy - 9-Jan-17 @ 7:23 AM
abbey82 - Your Question:
My partner who lives in the UK had a child that was born in sweden. His never seen her but csa is now taking money out his wages. Is this correct now we are out of the eu or doe that matter.

Our Response:
Your partner is responsible for supporting his child financially regardless of where his ex and child is living and/or whether he sees his child or not.
ChildSupportLaws - 5-Jan-17 @ 12:03 PM
My partner who lives in the UK had a child that was born in sweden. His never seen her but csa is now taking money out his wages. Is this correct now we are out of the eu or doe that matter.
abbey82 - 4-Jan-17 @ 1:56 PM
Hello, my dear friend is a US citizen, resident in the U.K. for many years. Her 2 children were born here before her husband left her for another woman with whom he now has 2 more children. He pays the minimum and they are struggling financially. My friend wants to return to the US where she would have family to help, enabling her to work full time. The children's father will not give consent despite seeing them very infrequently. He now says he is moving to Spain but still will not give consent. Can he block them moving to the US even though he is abandoning them?
US friend - 31-Dec-16 @ 6:28 PM
Please note REMO is not for residents in Scotland. The information given is for U.K. Parents, but is incorrect. I know as I have been down this route .
Ellay - 23-Dec-16 @ 10:03 PM
Confused_father - Your Question:
Hi there. I'm really stuck at the moment because my still wife keeps taking my son out of the country and threatening to stay in turkey. I have been paying child maintenance for over a year now but haven't seen my son in over 3 months. I haven't granted her permission to do this. She doesn't tell me when or if she's coming back. Where do I stand with paying maintenance please. thanks

Our Response:
You still are legally responsible for paying child maintenance to your ex, regardless of whether she is in the country or not. If you stop paying and you are paying through the CMS, you will be liable to have to pay arrears. If you have a family-based arrangement, then you can stop paying and it would be up to your wife to pursue future payments. If your ex has moved from the country without your consent (and you have parental authority) then this could be classed as abduction, if she refuses to return, please see gov.uk link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Dec-16 @ 1:44 PM
Hi there. I'm really stuck at the moment because my still wife keeps taking my son out of the country and threatening to stay in turkey. I have been paying child maintenance for over a year now but haven't seen my son in over 3 months. I haven't granted her permission to do this. She doesn't tell me when or if she's coming back. Where do I stand with paying maintenance please. thanks
Confused_father - 6-Dec-16 @ 12:03 AM
My partner is paying £500 a month in child maintenance payments for his children in the U.K. He's also been regularly sending money to his sons mother Jamaica to support him via western union. Child maintenance don't recognize this child or the payments being made. My partners 16 year old son has now been made homeless.He's now staying in his fathers old room. He will need more money sent to him to enable him to live as a independent. How do we get child maintenance to recognize the extra monies my partner is sending abroad?This child lives in a poverty stricken area and needs financial backing in the country he lives in. The room he's staying in will need a cooker, fridge, furniture, bedding, TV etc as the rest of the house is just an empty.
Nat - 4-Dec-16 @ 9:29 PM
@Benny - Child maintenance is paid by the father only. I don't think she has much of a case unless the court finds you are channelling money via your wife. Col.
CBM79 - 30-Nov-16 @ 1:51 PM
Hi. I am the father of two sons to my ex who is British. I am also a British citizen but I am now living in America with my wife who is an American citizen. Due to my immigration process I am currently out of work until my work permit comes through. My ex back in the uk has now said she is going to the courts and she is trying to get them to take money from my wife to pay the maintenance. Is this possible ?? I'm not trying to dodge payments, as soon as I am working I am planning to pay maintenance but she doesn't want to wait. Appreciate any advice.
Benny - 29-Nov-16 @ 11:33 PM
Hi, My cousin moved to New Zealand from the uk a few years ago. He got into a relationship and had a beautiful daughter together. Unfortunately due to his visa running out and there being unforseeable issues renewing my cousin has had to come back to the uk. He had recently had a very Nast break up with his daughters mother who is now saying "you will never see your daughter again" What avenues would he have to go down to get at least joint custody?
Cousin1 - 26-Nov-16 @ 9:47 PM
Hi my ex has give up her parental rights and my son now lives in Ireland with his Nan do I still have to pay child support
Chelsea - 20-Nov-16 @ 5:42 PM
Tara - Your Question:
Forgot to mention that we were never married.

Our Response:
It does not matter if you were married or not, you can still claim child support if he is the father of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Nov-16 @ 10:30 AM
Tara - Your Question:
Hello,I am a US citizen who had a child with my ex, who is a British citizen. My child was born in the states & has US citizenship. My ex has not paid me any child support & currently lives in Dubai. I know he is not employed, however he has many assets & bank accounts in the UK. Is there anything I can do to get child support? Thank you.

Our Response:
In the UK, child support is based on earnings, therefore your ex may be exempt from paying. However, if his income generates earnings i.e through interest, or his assets (i.e rental income) then he will be eligible to pay. However, you would have to enquire whether US and Dubai have a reciprocal enforcement of maintenance order agreements of a similar nature. As we are a UK-based site we have knowledge of only UK-reciprocal countries, not US.
ChildSupportLaws - 14-Nov-16 @ 10:25 AM
Forgot to mention that we were never married.
Tara - 13-Nov-16 @ 1:11 AM
Hello, I am a US citizen who had a child with my ex, who is a British citizen. My child was born in the states & has US citizenship. My ex has not paid me any child support & currently lives in Dubai. I know he is not employed, however he has many assets & bank accounts in the UK. Is there anything I can do to get child support? Thank you.
Tara - 13-Nov-16 @ 1:09 AM
Hi I have been through and this present a lot fighting for my child's residency order against my x husband and now it looks like that in the future of me moving to Norway with my son will double the hassle , emotional and financial. He is strongly against the moving already. Can anybody tell me how much ideally will cost you to get to court and get removal of jurisdiction pls?? Thank you
Noem - 3-Nov-16 @ 2:01 PM
My ex wife and i split up in 2012. She was from USA initially (WA state) and wanted to move back therein divorce, to which i agreed.Maintenance has been agreed between us and has been paid at the agreed fixed rate inever since. Now the exchange rate has dipped, the $ that my daughter receives has dipped dramatically. I can't afford more money . Is it just unfortunate that the exchange rate has dipped? any other suggestions. Relations are normally OK with the EX but this is leaving her short in the money dept,
bert - 28-Oct-16 @ 3:27 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi, I am currently a teacher in the uk with 2 daughters (9 & 12). They see their father approx once a week. He works 50 miles away on irregular shifts. I would like to work overseas for a fixed period (2 years) as it would be financially better and would give all three of us a great opportunity. But my ex husband is flatly refusing. He was charged with harassment of me during the divorce and I had to go to court for a prohibited steps order which is now a child arrangement order saying the girls reside with me. Is there anything I can do to stop him from blocking this great opportunity?Any help appreciated thanks.

Our Response:
If your ex applies for a PSO, you would have to justify why it was in your children's best interests to move abroad. The court will not definitely award your ex the PSO, it would weigh up both of your circumstances and reasons before making a decision. If your ex is just flatly refusing his consent, then you would have to apply to the courts for a Specific Issue Order, and likewise the court would decide upon what it thinks is in your children's best interests.
ChildSupportLaws - 24-Oct-16 @ 2:47 PM
Hi, I am currently a teacher in the uk with 2 daughters (9 & 12). They see their father approx once a week. He works 50 miles away on irregular shifts. I would like to work overseas for a fixed period (2 years) as it would be financially better and would give all three of us a great opportunity. But my ex husband is flatly refusing. He was charged with harassment of me during the divorce and I had to go to court for a prohibited steps order which is now a child arrangement order saying the girls reside with me. Is there anything I can do to stop him from blocking this great opportunity? Any help appreciated thanks.
Sam - 23-Oct-16 @ 4:44 PM
aa - Your Question:
Hiplease can somebody help me, am struggling a lot in my life, am separated from my husb and he is not paying any child maintenance since 5 years. He lives abroad and he is jus running away from his responsibility. I don't know what to do and how to claim the child maintenance. I don't know if he is working abroad, I want to know if he is not working abroad, is REMO will be able to get money from him to pay the child maintenance. please help. thanks. am just stress. he is just enjoying his life and spending everything with his family and friends. please I need advice. thanks

Our Response:
If you are living in the UK, you would have to contact the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance team directly, please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Oct-16 @ 2:03 PM
Hi please can somebody help me, am struggling a lot in my life, am separated from my husb and he is not paying any child maintenance since 5 years. He lives abroad and he is jus running away from his responsibility. I don't know what to do and how to claim the child maintenance. I don't know if he is working abroad, I want to know if he is not working abroad, is REMO will be able to get money from him to pay the child maintenance. please help. thanks. am just stress. he is just enjoying his life and spending everything with his family and friends. pleaseI need advice. thanks
aa - 20-Oct-16 @ 11:37 PM
@Suey - can't you just apply to have her name and your name changed by Deed Poll and move? If you don't know where your ex is in order to contact him, then you can apply through the courts for the name change without his consent. Also you might be able to apply through the courts to have his parental responsibility removed, if you can prove your concerns are valid.
Charlie77 - 7-Oct-16 @ 1:48 PM
Hi, Long story cut short. I found out through the UK police that my foreign husband was a prison absconder who committed a serious crime with a different name. I lived with him and his lies from 2008 to 2012, once I found out the truth I stopped all contact with him. We have a daughter and his name is on the Birth Certificate. I and my daughter are both born and bred British Citizens, she is now at risk of possibly being kidnapped. My solicitor has said not to worry as he would need to apply to the courts here in the UK for anything to do with my daughter but I have noticed you can apply for a copy of a birth certificate from abroad. I am worried he will try and do this to obtain fake documents for her. I do not know if his surname is real, I know now that he paid a lot of money to get to the UK originally illegally. Can I protect my daughters birth certificate in any way or get the surname changed on there to protect her.I know I can apply for a Child arrangement order and a PCO but if he gets hold of her birth certificate, I know he will try and kidnap her.Thank you in advance.
Suey - 6-Oct-16 @ 10:42 PM
Jane - Your Question:
We hold a Special Guardianship order for our two grandchildren, we moved out of the UK to another EU country with the court permission to remove the children from the uk. The childrens father used to pay child support on a voluntary basis but has now not done so for 18 months. The childrens mother never contributed at all. Can I get a crossborder agreement to force them both to pay. Thankyou.

Our Response:
Please see the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) link here. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Oct-16 @ 11:21 AM
We hold a Special Guardianship order for our two grandchildren, we moved out of the UK to another EU country with the court permission to remove the children from the uk. The childrens father used to pay child support on a voluntary basis but has now not done so for 18 months. The childrens mother never contributed at all. Can I get a crossborder agreement to force them both to pay. Thankyou.
Jane - 5-Oct-16 @ 1:57 PM
@madkat - you can move abroad without his authorisation as it's not like he could prosecute you for abduction, especially if you are moving to the country he actually lives in!
Livvie - 6-Sep-16 @ 1:56 PM
long story-my ex is british, we moved to france 4 years ago but he only stayed for 4-5 months before he went back to the UK and met someone else. He has now moved to the USA and we dont know where he is and he has remarried. He has PR over my youngest daughter but we now want to move to the USA too as i have met someone and we wish to marry. We have lived in France for 4 years now so the UK has no jursidiction over my child. I have no idea how to contact my ex so how do I move the states legally without his permission? He hasnt seen my daughter in over a year and a half, provides no maintenance for her and has no contact at all since he remarried
madkat - 5-Sep-16 @ 9:05 PM
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