New figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that 25% of babies born in England & Wales are to women who were born overseas, with women from Poland being the most common, constituting 20,495 births of the 724,000 in 2011.
As we have discussed previously on our blog, there can be legal complications if either parent wishes to return to their country of origin and take the child with them, and it’s probably no co-incidence that in recent years, Poland has also ranked as the country with the highest instances of parental child abduction from England and Wales.
Many parents assume that if they are returning home and/or if the child has dual nationality, as is often the case, there is no legal restriction on them moving; but it’s the ‘return to a home country’ which most commonly constitutes the basis of a child abduction case, leading to difficult and complex legal proceedings.
If there is no agreement between the parents as to in which country a child should live, the parent wishing to relocate or return home must make an application for ‘Leave to Remove’, in which they must detail to the Court the reasons for the move, explain all of their practical plans and set out detailed contact proposals. It’s not uncommon for child abduction cases to take 6-12 months to resolve through the Courts, and so forward planning, and consideration of interim arrangements is essential.
Anyone who is considering an international relocation is advised to seek early legal advice as to whether they need to make such an application and if so, what they need to do in order to have the highest prospect of success. Here at Slater & Gordon we have a team of Child Law specialists with extensive experience in international children cases who are always happy to assist.
Cara Nuttall is a Family Solicitor at Slater & Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
For a free initial consultation call Slater & Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online.