Q&A: Moving children away without consent

Q. My ex-wife wants to move 300 miles away with my two children, can she move them this far away without my consent?

A. Whilst there is no law preventing your ex-wife from doing this as long as she remains in England and Wales, if you make your objection known to her then she really should not move without obtaining the Court’s approval.  To do this she would need to make an application to the Court and you would have the opportunity to put your reasons for objecting.  If she moved without the Court’s approval, you could apply to the Court for an Order that she return with them, and an Order prohibiting her from moving away with them again.  In considering your application the Court would carry out a detailed analysis of your ex-wife’s plans and arrangements for the children, and would look at how your relationship with the children could still be maintained through regular contact, both face-to-face and via telephone/skype.  The children’s wishes and feelings would be taken into account and apportioned the relevant weight based upon their age and understanding.  The key question the Court would be faced with would be what is in the children’s best interests overall.  However the impact upon your ex-wife of a decision to refuse her permission and how this could affect the children would be a factor. 

Chris Brown, solicitor