Going through a divorce is undoubtedly a challenging and emotionally taxing process.

Parents often face critical decisions regarding child arrangements amid legal complexities.

One common concern is whether one parent can relocate abroad with their child post-divorce.

This blog will delve into the legal considerations surrounding this issue and shed light on the key factors UK couples should be aware of when contemplating moving abroad with their child after divorce.

Understanding Child Custody and Relocation Laws

The first step in addressing the matter of moving abroad with a child after divorce is understanding the child arrangements in place.

In the UK, child custody is typically referred to as "child arrangements."

Courts prioritise the child's best interests when making decisions regarding where the child should live and how much time they should spend with each parent.

Seeking Consent from the Other Parent

If one parent is considering relocating abroad with their child, it is crucial to obtain consent from the other parent who shares parental responsibility.

Parental responsibility encompasses a parent's legal rights, duties, powers, and responsibilities towards their child.

Major decisions, such as relocating internationally, require agreement from both parents.

Obtaining a Specific Issue Order

If the non-relocating parent refuses to consent, the parent wishing to move must apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order.

This order seeks the court's permission to move with the child.

The court will thoroughly examine the circumstances and weigh the child's best interests as the paramount consideration.

Factors Considered by the Court

The court's decision in granting permission for international relocation will hinge on several critical factors:

  • Child's Best Interests: The court will assess how the move will impact the child's overall well-being, including their emotional, educational, and social needs.
  • Child's Wishes and Feelings: Depending on the child's age and maturity, their relocation preferences may also be considered.
  • Motivation for the Move: The relocating parent must provide valid reasons for the move, such as better job opportunities, family support, or a safer environment.
  • Parent-Child Relationship: The court will consider the strength of the bond between the child and each parent and how the move will affect their relationship with the non-relocating parent.
  • Practical Arrangements: Details about the proposed living arrangements, education, healthcare, and contact arrangements with the non-relocating parent will be evaluated.

Working with Experienced Solicitors

Navigating the legal complexities of moving abroad with a child after divorce requires professional expertise.

Engaging experienced family law solicitors, like Monan Gozzett LLP, can be instrumental in presenting a solid case that upholds your child's best interests while addressing your parental rights.


Moving abroad with your child after divorce is a significant life-altering decision.

Before taking any steps, it is imperative to understand the legal implications and obtain the necessary consent or court orders.

The child's welfare should always remain at the heart of the decision-making process.

Seeking the assistance of knowledgeable solicitors can provide you with the guidance and support required to navigate this complex legal landscape and ensure the best possible outcome for you and your child.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding relocating abroad with your child after divorce, do not hesitate to contact Monan Gozzett LLP.

Our team of expert family law solicitors is dedicated to providing you with the advice and assistance you need during this challenging time.


Updated: 7 September 2023

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