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Moving abroad with children: what you need to know

Moving abroad with children: what you need to know

The Hague Convention on the civil aspects of International Parental Child Abduction 1980 regulates the international relocation of children. However, when parents are planning on moving abroad with children they often overlook the Hague Convention or think that it will not apply to them. Do you need the consent of the other parent? What happens if you have moved abroad and then want to return to Scotland but the other parent doesn't?

  • If you are separated or divorced, what should you do before moving abroad with children?

Before you move abroad with your children you must get the consent of the other parent. If consent is given, it is advisable to get this in writing. We can draw up a formal consent form on your behalf. If the other parent is refusing to consent to the children moving abroad, then you would have to raise court proceedings in Scotland asking the court for permission to move abroad. The court action can take time and this possibility needs to be considered well in advance of any proposed move.

  • What happens if you have moved abroad with your children and you don't have the consent of the other parent?

The other parent could raise court proceedings in Scotland, asking the court to order you to return the children to Scotland. That does not mean you would not be able to move, just that the court would decide whether or not the move would be in the best interests of the children.

  • What happens if you move abroad with your children but you want to return to Scotland?

If you have moved abroad and settled there, and want to return to Scotland but the other parent doesn't, then you would need the consent of the other parent. If the other parent doesn't consent to the children moving back to Scotland, then you would have to raise proceedings in the country you have moved to, asking the court to allow you to return to Scotland.

It is important that you know your legal position before moving abroad with your children. For more information or advice, please don't hesitate to contact a member of our Family Team.

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Written by : TC Young

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