Mother Allowed to Relocate Abroad With Child


After a recent case taken on by Simpson Millar LLP, a court has allowed a mother to relocate to her home country with her young son, as long as he stays in regular contact with his father.

Child Contact Custody

Mother Wants to Relocate to Birth Country

The young boy's father was from England and the mother from Russia. After their separation, the father had regular contact with his child and was allowed to have him stay once a fortnight.

The mother wanted to relocate with her child back to her native Russia and applied for a residence order and permission to move permanently. The father applied for a prohibitive steps order to prevent her from leaving with his son. He also applied for a shared care arrangement, which would give him equal access to care for his child.

The father had several concerns about this relocation. Firstly, the mother's extended family spoke little to no English, so he felt that his child would no longer be bilingual. He was worried about the place they were moving to and the physical condition of the property they would be living in. He was also anxious because he felt that the town in which they were going to live in was hostile to foreigners.

What the court had to consider

There were a number of things the court had to consider when considering the child's relocation abroad, such as:
  • Would moving to the mother's home country be any more difficult than moving somewhere completely new?
  • What the motives were of the parents in making these applications? Was it to deprive the other parent from seeing the child?
  • What impact the relocation would have on the father and his extended family?

How would moving abroad widen the boy's network of extended family? After much deliberation, the court decided the mother could relocate to Russia with the child.

The court dealt with the father's concerns. They saw that the mother had genuine reasons for the move, and had the motivation to advance his ability to understand and speak English.

They also stated that the time the son spent with his father and his UK family had to be increased. This would make sure that they were still a significant part of his life. As long as contact was maintained, the court saw no reason why he could not develop a proper relationship with his father.

Simpson Millar LLP helps father maintain contact

Simpson Millar LLP were acting for the father in this case. We arranged for the little boy to have increased contact with his father before he left the UK. We recognised that this would be good not only for the child, but also for the father.

During the case, Simpson Millar LLP also instructed a specialist in Russian law to make sure that any agreements made in the UK would be enforceable in Russia. Without this, a decision could have been made in the UK that would not have been enforceable in Russia, leaving the father and son unsure and unsettled.

We also fought to make sure that the father had regular general updates from the mother on his son's progress such as photographs, Skype calls and news on his health and schooling.

A major concern to the father was that he did not want the mother to have the child's UK passport. We made sure that he kept his son's UK passport so if the mother ever wanted to take a holiday outside of Russia she would need the express permission of the father to do so.

The court concluded when 2 people from different parts of the world enter a relationship, they should do so while considering what would happen if they had children and then separated. They needed to be aware of the consequences if one parent decided to return to their home country.

This case just highlights that when parent's work together for the best interests of their children a favourable outcome can be reached. In this case, the child gets to have a meaningful relationship with his family in Russia, whilst also maintaining a relationship with his father and extended family in the UK.

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