Home > Child Support & Family > Moving Abroad, The Issues

Moving Abroad, The Issues

By: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 11 Sep 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
RJS - Your Question:
Hi, My son was born in the UK. When he was 8 weeks old I found out about my husband's infidelity. My son and I left for Australia (my native) so that we can be with my extended family with written permission from my husband. My son is now 9 months old and we have established our life in Australia. My son is also now an Australian citizen. My question is can my husband apply to the UK courts to bring my son back to the UK? He has visited my son in Australia twice so far and we have tried to reconcile but it is not possible. How can he gain gain custody of my son?

Our Response:
If you have written permission from your ex, then no court would attempt to take your child from you and move him to a different country. The court will always rule for what it thinks is in the best interests of your child and moving him across the world would not be.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Sep-17 @ 4:58 PM
Holly - Your Question:
My partner has just moved too Dubai , has blaintly put it down too avoiding the cms , he has links too the U.K. Still ie a house but cms our saying nothing they can do. He's now saying if I take him too court for child support he will request his travel too see his children is included , and I won't get much as I only work 20 hours a week and not helping myself , I work school hours too fit in with the children and don't understand why I could be liable for his travel , when he choose too move. I won't allow the children too go out there due too not having duristication of custody rights and he's quite a nasty leave of work. I know it's not enforceable but at least arrears could amount I just don't understand why I would have too pay HIS costs , he knew what the move would include. Is he just scare mongering. Why should my children miss out on treats and a more comfortable life just because he decides he's not paying. And I'm being far from greedy on £52k non taxable per year I've asked for £250 a month the cms calculation on his old wage.

Our Response:
The main point here is that you say your ex has £52K 'non-taxable' income, CMS can only apply for child maintenance against taxable income. Here also is the list of countries with Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) for decisions made by courts in the UK. I would ignore your ex's threats as they have no substance. However, you would not be able to make a claim through the courts if Dubai is not on the REMO list.
ChildSupportLaws - 11-Sep-17 @ 2:44 PM
Hi, My son was born in the UK. When he was 8 weeks old I found out about my husband's infidelity. My son and I left for Australia (my native) so that we can be with my extended family with written permission from my husband. My son is now 9 months old and we have established our life in Australia. My son is also now an Australian citizen. My question is can my husband apply to the UK courts to bring my son back to the UK?He has visited my son in Australia twice so far and we have tried to reconcile but it is not possible. How can he gain gain custody of my son?
RJS - 11-Sep-17 @ 1:26 AM
My partner has just moved too Dubai , has blaintly put it down too avoiding the cms , he has links too the U.K. Still ie a house but cms our saying nothing they can do . He's now saying if I take him too court for child support he will request his travel too see his children is included , and I won't get much as I only work 20 hours a week and not helping myself , I work school hours too fit in with the children and don't understand why I could be liable for his travel , when he choose too move . I won't allow the children too go out there due too not having duristication of custody rights and he's quite a nasty leave of work . I know it's not enforceable but at least arrears could amount I just don't understand why I would have too pay HIS costs , he knew what the move would include . Is he just scare mongering . Why should my children miss out on treats and a more comfortable life just because he decides he's not paying . And I'm being far from greedy on £52k non taxable per year I've asked for £250 a month the cms calculation on his old wage .
Holly - 9-Sep-17 @ 7:51 AM
Mike - Your Question:
I am a paying parent, cms is in place but my ex never accepted the payments ( it was my initiative to pay cms, after court order gave our child rights 50/50, child is living with her mum). Next month I am moving to Germany to live there permanently, child is staying in UK. What will happen in this situation - do I have cancel cms or I will be liable to paying it?Many thanks,

Our Response:
Regardless of where you live, you are still responsible for paying child maintenance towards the day-to-day care of your child. You would have to discuss directly with CMS what will be done with the money you pay, if your ex continues not to accept the money.
ChildSupportLaws - 25-Aug-17 @ 12:08 PM
I am a paying parent, cms is in place but my ex never accepted the payments ( it was my initiative to pay cms, after court order gave our child rights 50/50, child is living with her mum) . Next month I am moving to Germanyto live there permanently, child is staying in UK. What will happen in this situation - do I have cancel cms or I will be liable to paying it? Many thanks,
Mike - 24-Aug-17 @ 2:37 PM
Eli - Your Question:
My ex apply for a leave to remove for my daughter to take her to an other European country, I refuse to give her the consent to take my child to an other country to live there. Now my question, can I apply for residence order ? I do live with my dad and one of his tenant. Should I look for my own accommodation first? And can I stop paying the mother child support, where I have to pay for solicitor?

Our Response:
With regards to applying for a residence order, much depends upon who is the day-to-day main carer of your child. Whether it is your ex applying for a order to be allowed to take your child to live abroad, or whether you are applying for a residence order the court's main objective is to decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child (not the parents). For instance, if you apply for a residence order and you perhaps only see your child once a week for a few hours, then it is highly unlikely a court would opt to change the resident parent as it would not be seen in the best interests of your child. The most important focus is on giving your child stability and consistency. However, a court will not attempt to stop your ex moving on with her life and if your ex can justify why it is in your daughter's best interests to move to another country with her, then the court is unlikely to object. Likewise, if you can reason why it isn't in yoru child's best interests for your ex to take your child abroad, then the court will listen. If you remember, this is not about you, your ex or her actions, it is always about what a judge thinks is best for your child. In answer to your last question, no, you will still have to continue paying child maintenance. If you cannot afford to be legally represented in court, you can self-litigate. Litigants in person must be treated equally before the law and have equal access to justice whether represented by a solicitor or not.
ChildSupportLaws - 21-Aug-17 @ 10:27 AM
My ex apply for a leave to remove for my daughter to take her to an other European country, I refuse to give her the consent to take my child to an other country to live there. Now my question, can I apply for residence order ? I do live with my dad and one of his tenant. Should I look for my own accommodation first? And can I stop paying the mother child support, where I have to pay for solicitor?
Eli - 19-Aug-17 @ 5:02 AM
Hi Im haveing a issue with child maintenance, my son is 4 and lives with his mum in Switzerland I returned to uk a broken man cause of how i was treated by my ex and had to focus on rebuildning my life. Problem is the swiss court set my payable amount on a untaxed wage agency wage they expect me to pay 560 pm in maintenance ive been paying 200 as this is all i can afford on min wage 7.50phI did argue that uk is paid very low amount compaired to Switzerland all I got was this is the min amount in Switzerland. Please any advice or a point of contact lawyer wise would be great. as you can imagine this is hugely stressfull and im a bit lost I dont want them to say no contact due to lack of maintenance my son means the world to me and i feel i have been incredably cheated on by the "System" I cant live without my boy in it and i cant live if im going to be running up debts cause of this amount so any advise is great advice thankyou Andy
Andy - 11-Aug-17 @ 9:28 PM
Hol - Your Question:
My mum is moving to Spain at the end of next month, I really would love to go with her, I think it's such a better life style for my son to be bought up in aswell, I'm 21 and I've tried to speak to his dad but he thinks it's unfair on him etc! So I know it would have to go to court, how much of a chance will I have?

Our Response:
We cannot predict what the court may decide as it will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child. However, if you show you are willing to have a good access agreement in place with the father, then a court is unlikely to try to prevent you from trying to move on with your life.
ChildSupportLaws - 10-Aug-17 @ 3:12 PM
My mum is moving to Spain at the end of next month, I really would love to go with her, I think it's such a better life style for my son to be bought up in aswell, I'm 21 and I've tried to speak to his dad but he thinks it's unfair on him etc! So I know it would have to go to court, how much of a chance will I have?
Hol - 10-Aug-17 @ 7:17 AM
Jan - Your Question:
My cousin's wife of over 10years recently had a set of twins who are just a little over a year old. The twins were born in india and my son has been a good father and partner and because it was a difficult pregnancy and childbirth and outside the country he have had to spend most of his savings and the constant travelling and worry made him loose his job. He left his wife in India and she experienced some difficult times which made her upset and slipped into depression. Her family made a fuss and got her back to come to the uk in order to seek medical attention and she has now heartbreakingly abndoned tge little babies in india and also abandoned the husband and moved in with another man. My cousin had applied for divorce and he wants sole custody of the children. What are his chances especially with the children being out of the country and also considering their ages. The poor little things have been left in care of our extended families. We believe she had acted irresponsibly and the court's should grant us custody of the children but not sure how it would work out with the children still outside the country. Thank you

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. Your cousin's only recourse would be to seek legal advice from an international family law solicitor, as it is beyond our remit to advise due to the complex nature of the case.
ChildSupportLaws - 4-Aug-17 @ 11:36 AM
My cousin's wife of over 10years recently had a set of twins who are just a little over a year old. The twins were born in india and my son has been a good father and partner and because it was a difficult pregnancy and childbirth and outside the country he have had to spend most of his savings and the constant travelling and worry made him loose his job. He left his wife in India and she experienced some difficult times which made her upset and slipped into depression. Her family made a fuss and got her back to come to the uk in order to seek medical attention and she has now heartbreakingly abndoned tge little babies in india and also abandoned the husband and moved in with another man. My cousin had applied for divorce and he wants sole custody of the children. What are his chances especially with the children being out of the country and also considering their ages. The poor little things have been left in care of our extended families. We believe she had acted irresponsibly and the court's should grant us custody of the children but not sure how it would work out with the children still outside the country. Thank you
Jan - 3-Aug-17 @ 8:22 PM
FC03 - Your Question:
Hi, My partner and I are moving to New Zealand, he has a child here in the U.K. From a previous relationship. He currently pays through the CSA (it is not court ordered payments) I want to find out if when we move will he still be made to pay? As we have seen conflicting information Thanks in advance!

Our Response:
Regardless of where your partner lives in the world, or whether he sees his child or not, he is still classed as responsible for financially supporting his child. The document via the link here contains a list of countries with Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO) for decisions made by courts in the UK.
ChildSupportLaws - 3-Aug-17 @ 11:25 AM
Hi, My partner and I are moving to New Zealand, he has a child here in the U.K. From a previous relationship. He currently pays through the CSA(it is not court ordered payments) I want to find out if when we move will he still be made to pay? As we have seen conflicting information Thanks in advance!
FC03 - 1-Aug-17 @ 7:17 PM
Adam - Your Question:
My ex lives in south east England. I'm about to love to Scotland and have no contact with the child. Will my maintenance payments change if I'm living in Scotland so far away from the child. Thanks

Our Response:
No, by law you will still be responsible for financially supporting your child regardless of whether you have contact or not.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Jul-17 @ 2:33 PM
My ex lives in south east England. I'm about to love to Scotland and have no contact with the child. Will my maintenance payments change if I'm living in Scotland so far away from the child. Thanks
Adam - 27-Jul-17 @ 2:33 PM
Kat - Your Question:
My fiancés ex is planning to move to lanzarote in September with his 2 kids, the kids want to go so we will support them however want legal binding visitation rights, we hope to visit once a month or fortnight but worry if able to afford it financially. Are we able to reduce maintenance paid to compensate for travel and accommodation fees for the kids?

Our Response:
Much depends upon whether your partner and his ex have a family-based arrangement or pay via CMS. You could possibly request a special expenses variation, please see link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Jul-17 @ 10:35 AM
My fiancés ex is planning to move to lanzarote in September with his 2 kids, the kids want to go so we will support them however want legal binding visitation rights, we hope to visit once a month or fortnight but worry if able to afford it financially. Are we able to reduce maintenance paid to compensate for travel and accommodation fees for the kids?
Kat - 17-Jul-17 @ 11:40 AM
Emsoo - Your Question:
Hi I am a Uk resident and so is my 5 yr old daughter. My ex her father moved back to America 4 years ago and since then has send random child support and has not come to visit her. I have however sent pictures and updated him regularly. I recently filed for child support and his reaction was well now I'm filling for custody. Can anyone tell me if this is possible? My daughter has several medical problems and obviously has treatment here in the UK so how would custody work with him there and us here?

Our Response:
It is highly unlikely your ex would have a case. There is no way the law would take your chidl from you and move her to a different country. The law will always decide upon what it thinks is in the best interests of your child and uppermost is continuity and stability. You have little to worry about - it sounds more like empty words.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Jun-17 @ 4:00 PM
Nat - Your Question:
Hi,I am a motherof a nearly 5 year old daughter. Her father has only contributed 1one payment of £125 in all those years. He travels back and forth to America on a visa and is still not contributing despite saying he intends too. I cant afford court fees and I earn over the wage stated approx 27, 000. Is there any way this can be sorted without me having to pay court fees and somehow direct them to him? Thanks

Our Response:
You can claim via Child Maintenance Service, here . Or if he lives outside the UK, you can contact the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit via the link here .
ChildSupportLaws - 29-Jun-17 @ 12:11 PM
Hi, I am a motherof a nearly 5 year old daughter.Her father has only contributed 1one payment of £125 in all those years. He travels back and forth to America on a visa and is still not contributing despite saying he intends too. I cant afford court fees and i earn over the wage stated approx 27, 000. Is there any way this can be sorted without me having to pay court fees and somehow direct them to him? Thanks
Nat - 27-Jun-17 @ 5:07 PM
Hi I am a Uk resident and so is my 5 yr old daughter. My ex her father moved back to America 4 years ago and since then has send random child support and has not come to visit her. I have however sent pictures and updated him regularly. I recently filed for child support and his reaction was well now I'm filling for custody. Can anyone tell me if this is possible? My daughter has several medical problems and obviously has treatment here in the UK so how would custody work with him there and us here?
Emsoo - 24-Jun-17 @ 8:53 PM
Smillie - Your Question:
My parents are moving out of country but I do not want to go are there any laws meaning that I can stay here or do I have to go with them

Our Response:
You cannot make an independent decision regarding this matter unless you are over 18.
ChildSupportLaws - 15-Jun-17 @ 4:24 PM
AL - Your Question:
Hi My partner is taking our daughter to Switzerland to live but needs a letter from me (resident in the uk) to say that's ok. It says I need a notary to witness that permission letter but what do I put in the letter?

Our Response:
You may wish to seek legal advice about drawing up an agreement. You can do this through mediation or a solicitor. This will allow you to come to an agreement on visitation rights also and/or other clauses if required.
ChildSupportLaws - 12-Jun-17 @ 11:49 AM
Hi My partner is taking our daughter to Switzerland to live but needs a letter from me (resident in the uk) to say that's ok. It says I need a notary to witness that permission letter but what do I put in the letter?
AL - 11-Jun-17 @ 10:35 PM
My parents are moving out of country but I do not want to go are there any laws meaning that I can stay here or do I have to go with them
Smillie - 8-Jun-17 @ 10:34 PM
mon - Your Question:
Hi my son is 18 months old and I have been a victim of domestic violence for last 4 years but did manage to get some courage after my son was born and reported it to the authorities and the police. At present I have have left the house with my son as my husband is more bother in his parents then us. My family lives in Canada. Is it possible to move there with my son. Or will need a permission from my husband to move there permanently. My husband wants me to make make private arrangements for his son as he is under Domestic violence but I refused. Is it possible to take my son Abroad or I wil need permission from hi.

Our Response:
You will need permission from the father to move out of the country with yours and his child. If you move without his consent, you could be charged with abduction. If your child's father refuses, you would have to apply to court for permission. First and foremost, a court will always decide what it thinks is in the best interests of your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 1-Jun-17 @ 1:42 PM
Hi, I'm from the U.K. But am currently in a relationship with someone in the USA. My divorce from my husband ( whom I separated from many years ago) will be finalized in the next 30-60 days. I am very keen to move to the USA with my son and his father in the U.K. Has agreed that I could bring him with me. In order to do that I was advised I would need to get legal written permission from his father which he is happy to do. Could you tell me please how I go about doing this or who to go to? Everyone involved is very amicable and in agreement we just need to make sure we are doing everything legally the right way in order to move forward. Any advise greatly received thank you
Texasbrit - 1-Jun-17 @ 5:27 AM
Hi my son is 18 months old and I have been a victim of domestic violence for last 4 years but did manage to get some courage after my son was born and reported it to the authorities and the police. At present I have have left the house with my son as my husband is more bother in his parents then us. My family lives in Canada. Is it possible to move there with my son. Or will need a permission from my husband to move there permanently. My husband wants me to make make private arrangements for his son as he is under Domestic violence but I refused. Is it possible to take my son Abroad or I wil need permission from hi.
mon - 1-Jun-17 @ 1:21 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ChildSupportLaws website. Please read our Disclaimer.