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

Moving Abroad, The Issues

Author: Lorna Elliott LLB (hons), Barrister - Updated: 27 August 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]
billysmum - Your Question:
We are paying child support for my husbands child who resides in the UK & we live in a REMO country. There is no dispute regarding us paying for the little one. We want to do all we can. Despite all our efforts we are not allowed to contact the poor child in any way shape or form. Apparently this is the childs decision even though the child is only 10. My husband is very distressed & disheartened. We were wondering if we could place the child support payment in a bank account in the childs name in our country until such an age. We currently pay the mother direct & there is no court order as such to do so. We have no idea if money is going to child or even if child knows we are trying to stay in touch. We feel if we hold on to the money then at some point we will be certain that the child benefits. Any advice would be very greatly appreciated. Thankyou in advance.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. However, unless the mother agrees, then officially child maintenance is meant as a regular reliable financial support that helps towards the child's everyday living costs. Therefore you would have to get her consent to do this.
ChildSupportLaws - 28-Aug-15 @ 11:59 AM
We are paying child support for my husbands child who resides in the UK & we live in a REMO country. There is no dispute regarding us paying for the little one. We want to do all we can. Despite all our efforts we are not allowed to contact the poor child in any way shape or form. Apparently this is the childs decision even though the child is only 10. My husband is very distressed & disheartened. We were wondering if we could place the child support payment in a bank account in the childs name in our country until such an age. We currently pay the mother direct & there is no court order as such to do so. We have no idea if money is going to child or even if child knows we are trying to stay in touch. We feel if we hold on to the money then at some point we will be certain that the child benefits. Any advice would be very greatly appreciated. Thankyou in advance.
billysmum - 27-Aug-15 @ 1:20 PM
rachy- Your Question:
Hi, My partners ex wife lives in Egypt she is now asking for child maintenance for there daughter. His ex wife is Egyptian and his daughter is British. Can you make him pay even though she is not in this country and has lived there for the last 4 years.

Our Response:
Given that every father should be financially responsible for their child, as a rule she could apply for a Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO), which as specified in the article deals with international child maintenance agreements. However, Egypt does not come under the REMO list of participating countries, therefore it would be more difficult for her to enforce an order for maintenance payments than it would if Egypt were a member country.
ChildSupportLaws - 27-Aug-15 @ 12:07 PM
Hi, My partners ex wife lives in Egypt she is now asking for child maintenance for there daughter. His ex wife is Egyptian and his daughter is British. Can you make him pay even though she is not in this country and has lived there for the last 4 years .
rachy - 26-Aug-15 @ 2:41 PM
LivingInTheUK - Your Question:
Hiya I live in the uk with my son and my soon to be ex husband lives in florida. How do I go about getting child support for my child as my ex is refusing to.pay?

Our Response:
Please see the link: 'countries where you can enforce child maintenance decisions' here which also gives a link to how to enforce Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders (REMO). I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 26-Aug-15 @ 12:33 PM
Hiya i live in the uk with my son and my soon to be ex husband lives in florida. How do I go about getting child support for my child as my ex is refusing to.pay?
LivingInTheUK - 25-Aug-15 @ 4:24 PM
If I move to Australia and leave my son with his mother, which countries CSA calculations are used to work out payments?
Dadprobz - 23-Aug-15 @ 11:14 AM
my children's father is set to leave the country and go to Dubai to live he's left it to my three children to tell me and thinks it's funny that he won't be paying maintenance when he goes !? Is there anything I can do to enforce he does pay financially to support them ?!
gettingtothebottomof - 20-Aug-15 @ 11:10 PM
two months ago my children came home from there fathers and told me he's moving to Dubai since then he's not told me himself and now says he's not going to pay child maintenance for his children either I have three children to support I know he has got a job out there but he's saying he hasn't he's avoiding his children and not supporting them either financially this is a disgrace can he legally do this and is there anything I can do ?
grttingtothebotyomof - 20-Aug-15 @ 11:06 PM
my expartner is emigrating andtaking our daughter tooz she's 14. her new husband is saying I will have to go to court and give up my parental rights for her to be aloud into oz is this true as I don't mind them going but don't like idea of loosing parental rights
malc1975 - 20-Aug-15 @ 9:53 PM
minnie55 - Your Question:
My husbands ex wife and their 11 year old son emigrated to Oz with her new husband. He gave consent to them taking the boy to live abroad. The CSA payments stopped. We saved the monies into a bank account and forwarded them to him now the boy is 18 years old. The ex wife has now separated from her 2nd husband and is struggling financially. She says she can take us to court for back payments! Is that true??

Our Response:
You would have to check directly with the CSA. However, if it was a family-based agreement where you can prove you put money into his son's account, then there shouldn't be an issue. Also, your husband may not be eligible to pay anyway, if his son has left full-time education. Every parent has the basic responsibility to provide for their child up until the age of 16, when they are legally allowed to leave school and get a job. After this age, it depends what the child chooses to do. If they continue in full-time non-advanced education , not higher than A-level equivalent, for at least 12 hours a week, then maintenance payments will continue until his child finishes or until they turn 20. If he has chosen to leave school and get a job, then your husband wouldn't have to pay. I hope this helps.
ChildSupportLaws - 20-Aug-15 @ 12:03 PM
My husbands ex wife and their 11 year old son emigrated to Oz with her new husband. He gave consent to them taking the boy to live abroad. The CSA payments stopped. We saved the monies into a bank account and forwarded them to him now the boy is 18 years old. The ex wife has now separated from her 2nd husband and is struggling financially. She says she can take us to court for back payments! Is that true??
minnie55 - 19-Aug-15 @ 11:38 AM
Benny - Your Question:
Hi, my ex has moved to Dubai and their wages have increased. Can anything be done to increase the maintenance I receive so that it is in line with his new pay amount? Thank you

Our Response:
If you are going through official channels, then you would have ask directly at source.However, the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Order (REMO) Unit helps to register and enforce child maintenance orders internationally, as far as I can see does not have Dubai on the list as one of its reciprocal countries. Therefore, you may find it more difficult to enforce and update an order. Please see list of participating countries here.
ChildSupportLaws - 18-Aug-15 @ 2:18 PM
Hi, my ex has moved to Dubai and their wages have increased. Can anything be done to increase the maintenance I receive so that it is in line with his new pay amount? Thank you
Benny - 17-Aug-15 @ 9:07 PM
marlen - Your Question:
My husbands ex girlfriend (who is born in UK and so is their daughter) has moved permanently to Sweden to get married to a Swedish man and the UK government has sent us a letter stating that we no longer need to pay her anything but she says that she will take us to court in Sweden to get their government to force us to pay her, can she do that?

Our Response:
She can if the country she is living in is under the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders, REMO jurisdiction. Please see link here.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Aug-15 @ 3:09 PM
LeaLindsay - Your Question:
Hi, My ex is planning on moving to Germany permanently leaving his daughter behind for good. Can you tell me, will he lose his parental rights? We are divorced

Our Response:
He will never fully lose his parental rights. However, he may naturally have less of a say in the welfare of his daughter if he chooses not to see her as often and the longer he is away from her day-to-day life.
ChildSupportLaws - 6-Aug-15 @ 12:26 PM
my husbands ex girlfriend (who is born in UK and so is their daughter) has moved permanently to Sweden to get married to a Swedish man and the UK government has sent us a letter stating that we no longer need to pay her anything but she says that she will take us to court in Sweden to get their government to force us to pay her, can she do that?
marlen - 6-Aug-15 @ 11:10 AM
Hi, My ex is planning on moving to Germany permanently leaving his daughter behind for good. Can you tell me, will he lose his parental rights? We are divorced
LeaLindsay - 5-Aug-15 @ 4:33 PM
@binsey - I'm afraid we could not predict this. It would be up to the court to decide while taking into account both your reasons why she should or shouldn't leave the country with your child.
ChildSupportLaws - 31-Jul-15 @ 12:37 PM
Recently separated now ex is determined to take my 5 yr old and 2 step children to Oz to work as an au pair/ live in nanny ( unsure if it's platonic) with a past life friend who she has reacquainted on social media site Will I lose court case to stop her taking my child by birth and be denied custody
binsey - 30-Jul-15 @ 5:56 PM
@Lisa - yes, as specified in the article, 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', (see link here) 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.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Jul-15 @ 3:05 PM
@Ramy - I'm afraid we can't answer your comment as we are a UK-based website, concentrating purely on UK-based law. You would have to seek some more local legal advice.
ChildSupportLaws - 30-Jul-15 @ 11:20 AM
My kids live with me full time. I want us to move to France permanently. Do I need their father's consent?
Lisa - 28-Jul-15 @ 9:09 PM
Hello I added a comment yesterday and I didn't recieve any feedback please I need an advice or help in my case, I feel that I am going to die if cann't see my daughter having her beside me, especially her mother don't care about her and what she is doing is all about revenge from me
Ramy - 28-Jul-15 @ 6:22 AM
I am an egptian father married to egptian women and we got our baby she is now 3years old and we have marriage troubles ended with divorce by court and my wife now held a suitcase in court to have legally to be the parent care, this is to make separation between me and my daughter,cause laws in egypt don't support shared care also my ex wife prevent me from seeing my daughter since one year ago disputes I have a court order to see my daughter 3 hours once a week cause this is the law in egypt and in this year I saw my daughter almost 4 times in addition my ex wife doesn't care for our daughter the only thing she want is to take revenge from me by preventing any contact with my daughter, and I am very connected with my daughter and she is too now I intented to take her and travel abroad and I don't know where to go with no legal consequences in the country that I will travel for and with no opportunity to face any laws to bring back my daughter to egypt please I need advice and what to do
Ramy - 27-Jul-15 @ 8:33 AM
My ex husband move to the Republic of Ireland about 5 years ago, and went to live with his mother, he was a self-employed carpenter, but as soon as he got to Ireland stopped working and claimed unemployment benefit.He stopped paying any money towards our son.My son resides with me and I bought the house off my ex-husband. I have only work sporadically now, when I can.However, my ex husband has not paid any money for his son since he went to Ireland and since my son was 10.I have had to pay for everything.I know my ex husband gets unemployment benefit, lives with his mother, and does not have to pay any rent or bills etc.I think it is disgraceful that he does not make any attempt to pay for his son or give him any money and has expected me to pay for everything.What is your advice on this case? Surely my son is entitled to the basic amount even if my ex husband is get unemployment benefit......I need help and advice on this.
Micky - 27-Jul-15 @ 12:03 AM
My child was born in Australia, I am from Ireland and live in the UK, my partner (my daughters father), is British and we have both agreed to move back to Australia finally as our parents live there. My child in under Child Protection Plan, however, can we leave finally without any reason to worry as we have both received our resident permit to live in Australia. Please advise me before I make mistake, I do no want to discuss my details with the Social Service Agency.
slattery84 - 26-Jul-15 @ 5:20 PM
@Gemmylou - it is very difficult to enforce payments if your ex is living in a non-REMO country.
MIke - 2-Jul-15 @ 2:44 PM
My ex is moving to Dubai and refuses to pay for his children. Dubai not being a REMO country I'm not sure where I stand legally he hasn't gone yet so do I have options.
Gemmylou - 29-Jun-15 @ 8:21 PM
@concerneddad - you can take it to court and get a specific issue order if your ex doesn't want to impart these details. However, in theory, your ex doesn't have to tell you and can take your daughter out of the country for a period of 28 days without consent. If you are really concerned, then you can apply for a prohibited steps order, but you'd have to have good reason.
Ed - 28-May-15 @ 2:21 PM
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