AskThe Ex­perts

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My son’s mother wants to move to Lon­don with my son, can she


do that and if so, what can I do?

There is no cur­rent leg­is­la­tion that pre­vents a par­ent re­lo­cat­ing their child from one area of the UK to an­other.

Should you wish to con­test the re­lo­ca­tion, an ap­pli­ca­tion would need to be made to the Court for a Child Ar­range­ments Or­der.

This will be in the form of a Pro­hib­ited Steps Or­der prevent­ing the mother from re­lo­cat­ing to Lon­don with your son.

It should be noted how­ever that the Court’s ap­proach to such ap­pli­ca­tions is some­what hes­i­tant.

The Courts are re­luc­tant to place a re­stric­tion on a par­ent’s free­dom to choose where they wish to live.

In or­der for a Court to pro­hibit a par­ent who has main care of the child from re­lo­cat­ing, an “ex­cep­tion­al­ity test” will need to be sat­is­fied.

This will in­clude: any is­sues or con­cerns sur­round­ing the par­ent’s com­pe­tence with whom the child will live; any dis­abil­ity of the child and how travel will im­pact upon this; the ex­tent of any detri­ment or up­set this would cause to the child as a re­sult of mov­ing away from the other par­ent; and rea­sons as to why the par­ent is re­lo­cat­ing.

Ul­ti­mately, the Court’s prin­ci­pal con­cern in de­cid­ing whether re­lo­ca­tion should be pro­hib­ited re­volves around the child’s wel­fare.

If you would like fur­ther ad­vice, please con­tact Les­ley Knight at He­garty So­lic­i­tors on 01733 295 620 or email les­ley.knight@ he­

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