Parental Rights

Q – I have a daughter, aged 10, from a previous marriage who lives with me every other week. My ex-wife has recently got engaged to a man she met, whilst on holiday, on California. My daughter has said that she has been told that they are all moving to USA after the wedding and not to tell me yet.

Can my ex-wife take my daughter to USA to live?

A – Firstly, in circumstances where there is no court order setting out the child arrangements for your daughter, you and your wife will need each other’s permission before being able to take your daughter outside of the United Kingdom, for any period of time, without your permission.

If you cannot reach an agreement between you as to whether your daughter should be allowed to move abroad, with her mother and new partner, then the matter will have to be determined by the court. Broadly speaking, the court will take into consideration a broad range of factors, taking a ‘holistic’ approach in determining what decision to make in the best interest of your daughter.

If your ex-wife abducts your daughter to the USA without your permission, particularly with an intention to remain in the country, you should consider making an application to the court as a matter of urgency.

Either way, if an agreement cannot be reached you should seek independent legal advice as soon as possible as applications to remove from the jurisdiction and/or international abduction is a complex area of family law.

Please contact us if you would like more information about these issues or any aspect of family law on 01656 645525 or