Vardags — when you need to win

My ex wants to take our children abroad

If your ex wants to move your children abroad, they will need your express, written consent.

If you are considering giving your consent to a permanent relocation, it is imperative that you seek legal advice before doing so. If you agree to the relocation, Vardags can assist you and your ex in formulating a contact strategy that will be in the best interests of both parties and most importantly your children.

If you object to the move, your ex will require permission from the court to remove your children. Orders permitting permanent relocation are not made lightly, particularly as the court favours both parents being involved in the upbringing of a child. The paramount concern of the court will always be the welfare of the children, taking into account a number of welfare indicators including the wishes and feelings of the children concerned, as well as the children’s physical, emotional and educational needs. Importantly, the court will also consider the commitment of your ex to support and facilitate the relationship between yourself and your children after relocation.

If you suspect that your ex may be planning to remove your children from the jurisdiction without your consent, it is vital to act quickly. Whatever your circumstances, our team of lawyers can rapidly issue a wide range of applications to the court to ensure that your children are not removed from the country against your will.


We offer a free consultation to qualifying individuals. Please call our confidential enquiry line on 020 7404 9390 or email us. Lines are staffed 24 hours.

How can Vardags help?

If your ex wants to take your children abroad but you don’t agree, their only alternative will be to seek the court’s permission in the form of an order for permission to relocate permanently with the children. Without this permission, your ex could be committing a serious criminal offence. The court process may appear to be both stressful and daunting when your relationship with your children is at stake. At Vardags, our lawyers are always available to help navigate the complexities of the court process. We will seek to protect your and your children’s interests both in the courtroom and in our-of-court negotiations. We can also help secure a series of protective measures to mitigate against the risk of your ex taking your children out of the country without your or the court’s consent.

As international family lawyers, we regularly come across families who live across multiple jurisdictions whilst enjoying a happy family life.

If your ex is taking your children abroad, and you consent to that move, it will be necessary for you and your ex to discuss the practicalities of contact arrangements. To ensure regular and good quality contact, it is highly advisable that you reach a formal agreement with your ex in advance of the move. This will help pre-empt any conflicts or issues that may arise in the future.

Our team of lawyers are experienced in drafting international contact orders that provide a practical, effective and, where necessary, creative solutions to multi-jurisdictional child contact arrangements.

If your children live with your ex under a child arrangements order, then your ex may take your children out of England and Wales for up to 28 days without your consent. Where there is no child arrangements order in force, or where your ex wishes to take your child on holiday for longer than a month, they will require your written consent or they will have to obtain permission from the court.

Whether you think the holiday is inappropriate, unsafe, or an excuse to permanently relocate with your children, we can help protect your and your children’s interests both in court and in out-of-court negotiations.

If you suspect that your ex has no intention of returning, Vardags can assist you with a variety of protective measures to help either prevent your children’s removal or ensure a prompt return.

If you are currently making child support payments, this obligation will continue even after your ex moves abroad with your children. Child support will continue to be enforceable in the courts of England and Wales and in over 100 countries with reciprocal arrangements.

If you suspect that your ex’s income will increase significantly or cost of living will fall as a result of their move abroad, it may be possible to vary the payments. Alternatively, if you have suffered a dramatic fall in income you may be able to seek a new order. Either way, the court will look unfavourably on any decision to unilaterally stop paying.

If you are concerned about the impact of a move abroad on child maintenance, Vardags’ specialist advice will help you to review your obligations.

Contact Vardags

01223 855237 [email protected]

1 Saint Mary's Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PQ

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01865 598 1429 [email protected]

Clarendon House, 52 Cornmarket Street, Oxford, OX1 3HJ

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01962 657268 [email protected]

1 St James' Terrace, Winchester, SO22 4PP

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