Case study: Michelle’s story

Obtaining the permission of the court to move abroad with young children

Michelle and her husband, Chris, separated after 10 years of marriage. Their two sons, aged 5 and 8, divided their time between their parents’ homes, spending the majority of their time with Michelle. Both parents worked demanding jobs and relied extensively upon support from both sets of grandparents.

New relationship

Some time after Michelle and Chris began living apart, Michelle met Steve and began a relationship with him. Steve was based primarily in another European country and Michelle came to the conclusion that she wanted to make a new life for herself and the children with Steve in that country. Chris was strongly opposed to this and it became necessary to make an application for the court’s permission to move abroad with the children.

Court process

With applications for leave to remove a child permanently from the jurisdiction (i.e. England and Wales), preparation is key to the success or failure of the process. We therefore worked hard with Michelle and her barrister over many months to put together a comprehensively researched “relocation package”. This included details of where they children would live, what they could do in their spare time, arrangements for them to learn a new language, and receive a top-class education. Most importantly, we had to show the court in meticulous detail how the children would maintain their relationship with Chris, whom they then saw every week. This involved putting together a colour-coded and fully costed annual plan for the children and parents’ travel to and from the UK for regular long weekends.

Contested hearing

After the written evidence had been produced in the form of statements, the parties had to appear in court to give evidence in person and face cross-examination. In cases of this kind, the impression the parties make on the judge when giving their evidence can be crucial. We therefore spent a lot of time and effort appointing a barrister who would bring out the best in Michelle’s case and counter Chris’s objections to the plan effectively.

After several days in court, Michelle was granted permission to relocate abroad with the children, subject to the detailed plan for contact between them and Chris. She was delighted with the outcome.

Further advice and information

If you are involved in any kind of dispute involving arrangements for a child, including a proposed move overseas, whichever side of the issue you find yourself on, contact us now for an informal discussion.  Follow the link for more information about arrangements for children.

Important note

All of our case studies here are based on real life clients and their experiences. However, due to the sensitive nature of the work we do, all names and some factual details have been amended to protect the privacy of our clients.

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