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Child Arrangements and Child Relocation

Shabana Sultana

Partner & Head of Family Law
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Child Arrangements and Child Relocation Solicitors, London

Disputes regarding child arrangements and child relocation (both within the UK and abroad) are emotionally charged and, if not managed carefully, can lead to bitter, expensive court battles, destroying any chance of the couple in question being able to agree on even the simplest change to a Child Arrangement Order or a Specific Issue Order going forward.

Free Initial Consultation

We understand that you’ll want to discuss your options and find out more about how we can help. We offer both appointments throughout the day and out of hours to accommodate our clients. We are happy to meet you at our offices across London, Essex or Kent. To find out more about free initial consultations, please complete our free consultation form, call us on 020 3741 9583 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact our Child Arrangements and Child Relocation Solicitors in London

The right solicitor changes everything. Anglo Law Solicitors provides expert legal advice on International Child Arrangements and Child Relocation.

Speak directly to a family solicitor now on 020 3753 4667 or complete our online contact form for your free consultation. For evening and weekend assistance, please call our family law solicitors on 07749 448362.

Anglo law solicitors serve client across the following areas:

The City of London, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Southwark, Bishopsgate, Billingsgate, Canary Wharf, Spitalfields, Aldgate, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Kent, Tunbridge Wells, West Malling, Chafford Hundred, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Epping & Loughton

Our Expertise

Shabana Sultana leads our family law team. Shabana is highly experienced in all areas concerning children’s disputes and child law. She has conducted hundreds of cases over her long legal career and successfully gains the trust and confidence of her clients.

We are members of Resolution, an organisation with over 6,500 family law solicitors committed to helping clients resolve their disputes in respectful, non-confrontational ways using alternative dispute resolution methods. As such, we are committed to assisting you and your ex-partner work together constructively for the long-term benefit of your children.

In some cases, court action will prove inevitable. Where one parent is being denied contact with their child or is being threatened with the prospect of that child being relocated to another part of the country, our family law team will act swiftly and decisively to ensure your relationship with your son or daughter is put back on track and not threatened again.

My partner and I are splitting up – do we have to go to court to formalise arrangements for our children?

Child Arrangements orders replace the old residence orders and contact orders. Parents with these old orders do not have to reapply. Child arrangements orders are designed to assist couples to agree between themselves where their children will live, and how often the non-resident parent will spend time with the child. The child arrangements order can set out clearly every aspect of child arrangement including school holidays, alternating Christmas day and phone calls, etc.

Working out child arrangements is most couples number priority and our team will be by your side to advise and guide you should a dispute develop. We can assist you in round-table negotiations and/or mediation methods which allow you and your ex-partner to take control of the process and communicate with each other effectively.

Sometimes, negotiating child arrangements can be challenging and not all couples can agree on everything without court’s help. If you need to go to court to formalise your child arrangements, then we will legally draft the court application needed to start the proceedings and represent you in court. Most matters that end up in court are usually settled within one or two hearings.

However, where parents cannot agree the child arrangements at court then it be necessary for the court to ask for a report to be prepared by Cafcass (children and family court advisory support service). This could take up to 16 weeks to prepare and the purpose of the report is to recommend to the Judge a child arrangements order Cafcass consider to be appropriate in that case.

The court granted me specific days of the month in which I can see my children, but my ex-partner is refusing to let me have them – what can I do?

This is one of the most distressing situations we see in our office, and in most cases, it is fathers who are being denied contact with their child. Denial of contact can occur suddenly, with little or no warning, leaving fathers feeling powerless and children being denied access to a crucial relationship in their lives.

If your ex-partner is refusing to allow you to see your children, it is crucial not to let the situation fester. Our family lawyers will move quickly to send a letter to your ex-partner stating she must reinstate contact between you and your children as per the Child Arrangement Order. If she does not comply, we will issue proceedings to gain an Interim Contact Order. This will ensure continued contact with your child until a full court hearing occurs. Throughout this process, we will push for ordinary contact to be reinstated.

If a court hearing does eventuate, we will employ expert barristers and witnesses to present a strong case in your favour and rebut any false claims made by your ex-partner as to why contact should be stopped or only allowed under supervision.

Can I prevent my partner relocating within the UK?

If the parent named on the Child Arrangement Order as the person with whom the child resides with most of the time wishes to move to another location in the UK, they do not need to seek the other parent’s permission. If you wish to prevent the move, you will need to apply to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order or a Specific Issue Order.

Alternatively, if you are a parent who wishes to relocate and you know your ex-partner will object, you can apply for a Specific Issue Order granting permission to move.

In Re C (A child) (Internal relocation) [2015], the Court of Appeal clarified the law relating to internal relocation cases, ruling that, like applications for international relocation, the court is governed by the principle that the child’s welfare is paramount. Therefore, judges must be guided by the welfare checklist section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989. Factors considered include:

  • The wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of their age and understanding);
  • The child’s physical, emotional, and educational needs;
  • How any change in circumstances will affect him or her;
  • The age, sex, background, and any characteristics of the child which the court considers relevant;
  • Any harm suffered by the child or the risk of such harm occurring;
  • How capable each of the child’s parents, and any other person in relation to whom the Court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his or her needs.

By instructing Shabana and her team, you can be assured that you have the best chance of preventing the internal relocation of your child. We will build a robust case against any relocation attempt and can also work to have a condition attached to the Child Arrangement Order stating where your children must live to prevent any further disputes of this kind.

Do I need permission to take my child abroad?

If under a Child Arrangement Order, it states your child is to live with you, you may take them abroad for no more than 28 days without seeking permission of anyone else who has Parental Responsibility. However, if you do not have a Child Arrangement Order, or you are not named as the person who the child is to live with under such an order, you are committing child abduction if you take your son or daughter abroad without permission from the court, or those with Parental Responsibility.

Our team can present a strong argument to the court in favour of you being allowed to move abroad with your child. By showing you are committed to encouraging a strong relationship with the left-behind parent and that your son or daughter’s welfare will not be adversely affected, and in fact may be enhanced by the move, there is a strong chance you will be granted permission.

What is parental responsibility?

All mothers and most fathers have legal rights and responsibilities as a parent will – known as “parental responsibility”.

If you have parental responsibility, your most important roles are to:

  • Provide a home for the child
  • Protect and maintain the child

You will also responsible for;

  • Disciplining the child
  • choosing and providing for the child’s education
  • agreeing to the child’s medical treatment
  • naming the child and the green to any change of name
  • Looking after the child’s property

Parents must ensure that their child is supported financially whether they have parental responsibility or not.

Who has parental responsibility?

A mother automatically has parental responsibility for her child from birth. The father usually has parental responsibility if he is either;

  • Married to the child’s mother
  • listed on the birth certificate after 1 December 2003 in England and Wales.

Unmarried parents and Parental Responsibility

  • An unmarried father can get parental responsibility for his child in one of three ways;
  • Jointly registering the birth of the child, the mother from 1 December 2003.
  • Getting a parental responsibility agreement signed with the mother.

Getting a parental responsibility order from a court

If you want a parental responsibility but can’t agree arrangements with the mother, you can apply for a court order. At Anglo law, we can help draft the legal documents needed and represent you at court to put forward your best evidence. We can provide practical and advise on the kind of strategies you need to employ in order to be successful in obtaining a parental responsibility order from the court.

Please call our office on 020 3753 4667 to make an appointment with Shabana or one of her team to receive legal advice and representation on child arrangements and child relocation matters.

How to get in contact 

Call us now on 020 3753 4667, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fill in our online contact form to book a free consultation.

Anglo Law Solicitors service clients across the following areas:

LONDON AREAS- City of London, Aldgate, Tower Hamlets, Spitalfields, Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Southwark, Bishopsgate, Canary Wharf, Islington & Highbury, Angel, Belsize Park, Hampstead, Swiss Cottage, Finchley.
ESSEX- Chigwell, Hainult, Woodford, Epping, Chafford Hundred, Chelmsford, Brentwood, Upminster, Grays.
KENT- Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, West Malling, Maidstone, Sevenoaks.