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Leave to Remove Applications

Posted on 3rd April 2015 by Goodwins Family Law Solicitors

A Leave to Remove application is where a parent or main carer of a child or children asks for the court’s permission to leave the area of this jurisdiction i.e. England and Wales with the children to live abroad on a permanent basis. In the event that the parents are unable to agree whether the relocation of the children should take place, a Leave to Remove decision will be made by the court.

Discussions Beforehand

Before any proceedings are commenced, it is important that the parents of the child or children fully discuss the situation, the available options and the potential consequences of any choices that are made. Appropriate precautions must be taken to ensure that the children are able to maintain a good and healthy relationship with both parents; this may include setting aside finances to ensure that the travel costs of the parents or children can be provided for.
In all cases, the court will take into account the impact of relocation on the parent who is not moving, from the financial impact of travel to the ability of both parents to maintain a good relationship with their child or children.

Seeking Consent

Strictly speaking, the parent seeking to remove the children from the jurisdiction is only obliged to seek consent from the other parent if the other parent has Parental Responsibility, after The Child Abduction Act 1984 made it a criminal offence for a parent to remove a child from the jurisdiction without the consent of the other parent. This is automatically obtained by mothers and most fathers, providing that they are on the child’s birth certificate after 30th November 2003, or they have gained Parental Responsibility via a formal agreement with the mother of the child or a Court Order. If the parent applying for Leave to Remove has already acquired a Residence Order, they are allowed to remove the child from the jurisdiction for up to 28 days without the consent of the other parent.

Once An Application Is Granted

If a Leave to Remove application is granted, and the parent who stays in the jurisdiction would like to lodge another application, for example, for increased visitation or contact with the children, generally any application would have to be made to the court of the relocated parent and children’s new jurisdiction.
However, if the new residency is in an EU member state (aside from Denmark), any application that is made by the English court will be supported by the foreign court. If the country in question is not an EU member state then there are often very different rules that apply.

Here at Goodwins Family Law Solicitors, our expert legal team have vast experience across all fields and aspects of family law. From Leave to Remove applications to matrimonial cases, we provide a thorough, sensitive and professional service to you from start to finish. We will treat your case with the sensitivity it deserves, whilst remaining realistic with you in regards to any potential outcome that you are likely to face. To find out more about our family law services, get in touch with us today. Contact us via phone, email or the contact form on our website and we’ll be more than happy to help.

We have dealt with many difficult cases in this area, indeed on occasion, we have made new law. The firm acted on the first reported case where the applicant parent was granted leave on the basis of a surety, that is, a substantive financial bond being provided to ensure compliance with the terms of the order.


For more information on child custody, you can visit on online Advice Centre here.