When parties are separated, either via divorce or just where a relationship has ended, it often occurs that one parent may wish to move away from the Isle of Man with the children and the other parent may wish to remain.
In order for a move to take place, the moving parent must obtain written consent from the other parent or any other person who has parental responsibility for the child. In the circumstances where the other parent doesn’t agree to the move, then you must apply to the Court for permission to move with the child to your intended location.
If you are intending to make such an application, it is very important that you carefully think through all of the practical points that would need to be considered for you and the children in the new place. The Court will need to know various details of your intended move.
Each case is different but the Court would need to know the following main points:
In addition, it is also very important that you consider how will the children maintain a relationship with the parent who is not moving and what options need to be considered in relation to this.
This list of points for consideration is wide ranging and each case depends on its own circumstances, but for the avoidance of doubt it is absolutely essential that such applications are prepared with careful consideration.
In some circumstances witness statements from other family members or professionals involved with your life or the lives of the children may also be appropriate in order to support any such application. These applications are sometimes one of the most difficult decisions a Court needs to make regarding a child’s life.
On the other hand, you might be the parent who is objecting to the application for the relocation of the children and you want to explain to the Court why you don’t agree. You would need to explain how the current contact you have with the children would be affected by the move and how this move would cause difficulties in relation to maintaining your relationship with the children going forward. You could also address any problems or issues that you feel may arise with regard to the education, health or physical or emotional needs of the children, if a move was granted.
As part of the Court process a Court Welfare Officer would be appointed to your case. They would then consider and meet with both parties and the children and then prepare a recommendation report for consideration. If matters cannot be agreed by the parties following this, then it will be up to the Court to make a determination. The Court’s primary concern is the welfare of the children and they will carefully consider whether the move is in the children’s best interests or not.
It is often difficult to predict the outcome of these cases given that each family’s circumstances are very different. Our family Advocates Claire and Amy are both very experienced with these applications and are able to assist you in relation to both sides of such a case. If you would like to discuss this process further with Claire or Amy please contact them directly.