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Leave to Remove - Case Study


Mother wishes to move to Spain with her eight year old daughter. She is not married to the father but he plays an important role in their life and the child is close to paternal family who all live in London. Mother is not a Spanish national, she is in fact from New Zealand. She wishes to move to Spain as she is recently married and her new husband has secured a lucrative employment contract in that country. 

Father is strongly opposed to the move to Spain as he believes his relationship with his daughter will suffer and they will end up having a distanced relationship.

As this is a lifestyle application for leave to remove, rather than a return to a homeland case, it is even more important that the application is well thought through and child centred. 

We advised Mum and prepared a robust statement setting out clear and workable plans as to the proposed living arrangements in Spain taking into account the emotional, educational, housing and health needs of the child. In particular, we helped Mum to set out a detailed plan as to how the child arrangements can be made to work for Father too. A regular and consistent pattern of time to be spent with Father was worked through to ensure that the child would spend quality time with her father both in the UK and in Spain to include special occasions and time over birthday and Christmas periods. 

As the application was child focussed and Mother was actively seeking to ensure minimum disruption to the child’s relationship with her father and to continue to promote that relationship, the court granted Mother a live with Order and gave permission for the child to be permanently removed from the jurisdiction to Spain. 

We have also advised mothers seeking permission to relocate the children back to their home countries to benefit from family support in circumstances where they feel lonely and isolated in the UK, for mothers wanting to return home for work related or lifestyle reasons and increasingly there seems to be an increase in these needs for parties who have been isolated across the miles during the pandemic. 

We have also successfully represented fathers who are resisting applications for leave to remove so that the children remained living in the UK and obtained shared residence orders for the fathers who were being alienated in the family dynamic.

 On another matter, we advised a father that he would not successfully obtain permission for the child to live with him permanently in Australia but negotiated a Consent Order giving him shared care which included him spending significant time with the child to include the majority of the school holidays in the UK, in Europe, America and Australasia. Several years later, the child moved to live with father in accordance with his wishes.

Photo by Elvis Bekmanis on Unsplash

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