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Taking a child on holiday  – is consent needed?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

As we rapidly approach the summer school holidays, family lawyers are often faced with the question of whether one parent needs to seek permission from the other parent when taking a child on holiday.

The first question I ask is whether the other parent has parental responsibility for the child. If so, then consent is necessary.

Fathers will only have parental responsibility if they were married to the child’s mother or listed on the birth certificate as the father (from December 2013); or if they have a court order that has granted them parental responsibility.

Mothers are automatically granted parental responsibility.

When a Child Arrangements Order is in force (or a Residence Order) that states that the child lives with you, then you are in the fortunate position of being able to take the child on holiday for up to 28 days without the other parent’s consent.

What happens if you don’t obtain consent?

If you have not obtained permission from the other parent and you are legally obliged to do so, then the criminal offence of child abduction may have been committed, if the child is taken out of the country. Anyone found guilty of such an offence can be fined, imprisoned or both.

What if consent is not provided? Can you still go on holiday?

Why was consent withheld? If it is withheld without a good reason and you believe it is in the child’s best interests to go on holiday, an application can be made to court for a specific issue order.

How quickly can the court deal with this?

An application for a Specific Issue Order can be applied for on an emergency basis if travel plans have already been made. The court will want to speak to both parties before an order is made. If it is not urgent, then the court can take a few weeks to list the matter for a hearing and it is therefore advisable to get an application into court as soon as it becomes evident that the other party will not change their mind.

If you are the parent who is refusing permission because you believe it is in the child’s best interests not to go on holiday, or if you feel the child is unlikely to return, then you can apply to the court for a prohibited steps order which, if granted, will prevent the removal of the child from the court’s jurisdiction.

Tips to try to obtain permission

  • Provide details of the holiday to the other parent as soon as possible, such as return flight details and address when on holiday.
  • Try to arrange additional contact to replace any contact that will be missed whilst the child is on holiday
  • Can telephone/video contact take place whilst the child is on holiday?
  • Provide contact details in case of an emergency
  • The other party is more likely to consent if you agree to them also taking the child away on holiday

If you wish to discuss your case and how Coley & Tilley can help you in obtaining consent for you to take your child on holiday, please contact Sandeep Sandhu (Associate Solicitor) on 0121 643 5531 or via email at sandeep.sandhu@coleyandtilley.co.uk. We offer a free initial appointment at our city centre office.

More information about the services that we offer can be found on our website at www.coleyandtilley.co.uk.

Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice. Specialist legal advice is recommended in relation to your own case.

 

 

Spousal Maintenance – Court Continues Its Assault On Joint Lives Maintenance Orders.

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

A few weeks ago, the Court of Appeal ruled that Mrs Waggott’s maintenance payments shall end after three years thus ending her entitlement to maintenance on a joint lives basis. Lord justice Moylan stated that “this case raises issues about the application of, and the relationship between, the principles of need, sharing and compensation”. Dubbed as “the meal ticket for life” case, it’s impact could be severe on those seeking long term spousal maintenance.

Background

Mr and Mrs Waggott were both accountants when they met. The parties started living together in 1991, married in 2000 and separated in 2012. They had one child together who was born in 2004. In 2001 (due to the husband changing employment and the parties having to relocate to live near London) the wife left her employment as an accountant. Other than a short period in 2002/2003, the wife had not worked in paid employment again. At the time of divorcing, overall assets amounted to £16.2 million, Mr Waggott’s net income for the tax year 2013/2014 had been just under £3 million.

A final hearing took place in 2014, however due to various points being raised by the parties, further hearings took place. In 2016, the judge awarded Mrs Waggott a capital sum of £9.76 million which included a percentage of the husband’s deferred remuneration. The Judge ascribed a net income of £60,000 to the wife’s “free capital” and awarded her spousal maintenance for life of £115000 in order to meet her annual income needs of £175,000.

Mrs Waggott, unhappy with the award, appealed the decision requesting a further £23,000 a year in annual maintenance payments and an ongoing share of the husband’s deferred bonuses. Mr Waggott cross appealed, seeking to restrict the maintenance period to a period of five years for when the original award had been made.

The Legal Issues

Lord Justice Moylan identified three issues that he had considered alongside the circumstances of the case when reaching his judgement.

1. Is an earning capacity capable of being a matrimonial asset to which the sharing principle applies?

LJ Moylan very clearly said no as he believed that any extension of the sharing principle to post separation earnings would fundamentally undermine the court’s ability to effect a clean break.

2. How should the court assess whether an award determined by application of the sharing principle meets the parties needs? To what extent is it fair for the wife to be required to use her sharing award to meet her income needs when the husband will meet his needs from earned income?

The Court of Appeal rejected Mrs Waggott’s argument that her capital should be preserved and should not be used to meet her income needs ie.to give her an assured income of £60,000. As to whether it was fair to do so, depends upon the circumstances of each case. In this case, LJ Moylan believed that Mrs Waggott would be able “to adjust without undue hardship” to the termination of maintenance.

3. Compensation – Does it apply?

LJ Moylan’s view was that “compensation is for the disadvantages sustained by the party who has given up a career. The court would have to determine on a balance of probabilities that the applicant’s career would have resulted in them having resources that are greater than those which they will be awarded by application of either the need principle or the sharing principle. Further, the court must separately determine whether, and if so, how, this factor should be reflected in the award so as to ensure that it is fair to both parties”.

Determination

The Court of Appeal dismissed Mrs Waggott’s appeal. Furthermore, the court allowed Mr Waggott’s appeal and imposed a term order ending Mrs Waggott’s maintenance payments on 1 March 2021.

What does this mean?

1. Earning capacity should not be shared equally.

2. Joint lives order replaced with a fixed term.

3. Mrs Waggott’s claim for a share of Mr Waggott’s deferred bonuses was denied.

The message therefore is clear to those seeking long-term maintenance payments that the Courts are adopting a very strict approach to such claims. It is therefore vital for any person seeking long-term spousal maintenance to obtain specialist legal advice when considering the impact of divorce upon their financial situation.

If you wish to discuss your case and how Coley & Tilley can help you reach a financial settlement that works for you, please contact Sandeep Sandhu (Associate) on 0121 643 5531 or via email on sandeep.sandhu@coleyandtilley.co.uk  We offer a free initial appointment at our city centre office. More information about the services that we offer can be found on our website: https://coleyandtilley.co.uk/

*Disclaimer: Please note that the above is not intended as legal advice. Specialist legal advice is recommended in relation to your own case.

Claim Your Lasting Power of Attorney Refund Now

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

The government has just announced a refund scheme for Lasting Powers of Attorney where the application for registration was made between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2017. If you are either the person who made the Lasting Power of Attorney or the attorney appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney where the application was made between these dates, you can apply for a refund online or by phone.

The refund scheme follows cost savings by the Office of the Public Guardian which have not been passed on to consumers.

This scheme applies to both Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs and Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare. The refund amount per Lasting Power of Attorney is as follows:

When You Applied to Register Refund for each Power of Attorney
April to September 2013 £54
October 2013 to March 2014 £34
April 2014 to March 2015 £37
April 2015 to March 2016 £38
April 2016 to March 2017 £45

 

To apply online or by phone should only take a few minutes, but you will need the account number and sort code of the person who made Lasting Power of Attorney. For more information, or to claim your refund, please visit https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund.

If you are unsure about when the application to register your Lasting Power of Attorney was made, and Coley & Tilley made the application on your behalf, then please contact us at enquiries@coleyandtilley.co.uk, and we will be happy to confirm the date of the application for registration.

Digital Inheritance – Protecting your online assets and memories

Monday, November 7th, 2016

We are living more and more of our life online. Many people have internet banking, access investments over the internet and keep in touch with family and friends over Facebook or other social media channels. What we do with our digital life after our death is therefore becoming increasingly important.

From a practical point of view, the people that deal with your estate upon your death (known as your personal representatives) may not be aware of the existence of online bank accounts as there will be no traditional paper trail. They may be denied access when trying to deal with these accounts online. It could also mean that important sentimental materials, such as photographs on social media, are unfortunately never recovered.

Your online presence needs be planned for as you would your physical possessions, yet very few people have put any plans in place. Instead this is often left to personal representatives to hopefully stumble across the various accounts.

The concept of a digital legacy is relatively new, so legal procedures are not yet in place to set out how matters are dealt with on your death. It is therefore the individual websites who set out what their users are able to do. For example, recently in the UK, Facebook has launched a “Legacy Contact” feature.  This enables users to designate a person who will receive limited posthumous access to their account.  The Legacy Contact is notified at the time of nomination or by Facebook when they become aware of the death.

It is a good idea to prepare a list of online accounts which can be stored safely alongside your Will and be updated as and when necessary, without the need for your Will to be amended.

It is advisable to discuss with family and friends how you wish for your digital assets to be managed on your death and leave clear details of how you would like these to be dealt with either in your Will or a letter of wishes. Do not assume family members know where to look online. You will need to give consideration to not only those assets with a monetary value but those with a sentimental value such as all those photographs which may only be stored online rather than in a traditional album.

For now, keeping an up to date list of your online accounts would appear to be a sensible step in order to make the job of your personal representatives as simple as possible. For security purposes we would suggest storing such information safely with your Will in the secure storage facility of your solicitors.

It is clear that a fuller legal structure is required to deal with this ever growing area and hopefully this will be addressed by the Government in due course.

Lindsey Bohanna – Solicitor and Head of Probate, Wills and Trusts at Coley & Tilley Solicitors.

Lindsey is a full accredited member of SFE and STEP. She prides herself on her friendly, yet professional approach which puts clients at ease.

Coley & Tilley are a dedicated Birmingham Law Firm. Businesses and individuals looking for friendly, expert and highly experienced legal advisers choose us

LET’S GET KATY TO GERMANY & BACK

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Aurelia & Evan - Coley & Tilley Solicitors Birmingham (2)On the way into work on Wednesday it was raining. It was cold as well, considering it was June. As usual I had a busy day ahead; lots to do in so little time. Just the usual trivial worries that we have on a day to day basis.

Then I received some shocking news. One of our colleagues, Solicitor, Katy Dawson, has aggressive breast cancer and she is only 36 years of age. Suddenly my worries disappeared into oblivion.

Katy was on maternity leave having recently given birth to her son Evan. Her 4 year old daughter, Aurelia, is now a big sister and her husband Paul, a Daddy again. Just before Katy gave birth she found a lump on her breast which was diagnosed as aggressive breast cancer.

Katy’s world was turned upside down. She had to have surgery whilst still carrying Evan. Fortunately this went well. After Evan was born Katy started chemotherapy, but her future prognosis is uncertain.

Katy is a fighter, after all she is a litigator in our Employment and Litigation Department. Katy won’t give up for the sake of her children.

The type of cancer Katy has is classed as triple negative. She is still undergoing chemotherapy treatment and may have to have further surgery and radiotherapy.

The statistics aren’t great and even if she survives, the cancer can reoccur.Katy with Aurelia - Coley & Tilley Solicitors Birmingham (1)

Apparently there is a cutting edge and innovative treatment available, but this is in Germany and expensive. It can cost around £50,000. Other patients have had amazing results.

For the sake of the children, Katy is now frantically fundraising to try to reach the £50,000 target so she can have the treatment in Germany. Katy has just opened up a ‘gofundme’ page and donations are steadily flowing in.

Coley & Tilley Solicitors is a firm who support staff, but even more so in times of crisis. As well as making our own personal donations, all the Partners and staff have joined together as a team and now launch their own challenge called “Let’s get Katy to Germany…and back!” We ask that those who sponsor us to donate via Katy’s https://www.gofundme.com/2av467jr page.

If Katy does get the opportunity to go to Germany for the treatment she will have to travel a total of 671 miles. To get home again a further 671 miles, making a total distance of 1,342 miles. All of us at Coley & Tilley will as a combined team cover the same distance (in our day to day lives) over a 3 week period starting today and finishing on 22 July 2016. We will either walk, run, swim, cycle and for those here who struggle with sporting activities, they will still undertake a similar task but on a computer software program. One way or another we hope to cover the same distance that Katy will have to travel and get sponsored for our efforts. We will measure our steps with our step-counters or other devices and convert them to miles. We will have a map which will track the progress of our journey to Germany and back home again.Katy with Evan - Coley & Tilley Solicitors Birmingham

Most children break up for the summer holidays on 22 July 2016 which is the date our challenge will end. Most of us will enjoy summer holidays with our children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces etc. Let’s do this so Katy enjoys future summer holidays with her adorable children.

We will update you with our progress of our challenge and our fundraising on social media. Please share our posts so that we can achieve maximum publicity.

If you have not already done so please “Like” our Coley & Tilley Solicitors Facebook Page or “Follow” us on Twitter.

We are also on Linked if you want to connect.

PLEASE SPONSOR US BY CLICKING THE LINK TO KATY’S FUNDRAISING PAGE – HERE IS THE LINK www.gofundme.com/2av467jr

The sun is shining today and the future looks a whole lot brighter!

Thank you in advance for your kind donations.

Katy & Paul - Coley & Tilley Solicitors Birmingham

Lifetime Giving – Wealth Management

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

With the Prime Minister, David Cameron, recently releasing his tax records and confirming lifetime gifts made to him by his mother, the question of Inheritance Tax has again stepped into the media spotlight.

It has emerged that following the death of his father in 2010, Mr Cameron was left £300,000 from his father’s estate. His mother then transferred two payments to David of £100,000 in May and July of 2011.  If his mother survives until July 2018 both gifts will be outside of her estate for Inheritance Tax purposes potentially saving her estate £80,000 in tax.

Outright gifts which are made more than 7 years before death, where no benefit is reserved, such as the gift to Mr Cameron are called potentially exempt transfers. On the expiry of the 7th anniversary from the date of the gift it no longer forms part of their estate.  Taper Relief may also apply after the 3rd anniversary if the gift is chargeable to Inheritance Tax and exceeds the Nil Rate Band which is currently £325,000.

Lifetime giving has always been a useful tool when estate planning for individuals. The timing of any gifts is obviously paramount to ensure that firstly the money is not required by the donor and secondly that they are likely to survive for the 7 years from the date of the gift.  Unfortunately none of us have the benefit of a crystal ball to determine when the gift should be made and only time will tell if the gift to David was a timely one!

For more details regarding lifetime giving and its effect on your estate please contact Lindsey Bohanna at lindsey.bohanna@coleyandtilley.co.uk or by telephone on 0121 643 5531.

Women’s Aid’s latest contribution to the debate about domestic violence

Friday, March 4th, 2016

There is an ongoing debate about where, and how, complaints about domestic violence should be dealt with. At the moment victims can receive redress in both the civil and criminal courts.

Women’s Aid chief executive Polly Neate has been quoted in a recent article for The Law Society Gazette as suggesting that domestic violence victims are “routinely abused” in the family courts.

Whilst one should be cautious about generalising – most Litigants in Person (LiPs) are well behaved – the rise in the number of LiPs has undoubtedly led to an increase in aggressive behaviour at the door of and inside the courtroom. There is certainly more that the courts can and should do to protect victims of domestic violence from further abuse.

My colleague Jane Barclay and I have been practicing family law, including regular forays to protect victims of domestic violence and defend alleged perpetrators, for in excess of 20 years each. Our experience is that family judges do not tolerate bad behaviour either in or in the environs of their courts.

It must be remembered that there are sometimes good reasons why one might wish to use the family rather than criminal courts, including importantly:

  1. You may not want to criminalise your other half but just stop their behaviour;
  2. You control the decisions made in the proceedings, including whether, when and in what circumstances they are to be dealt with;
  3. Very often the same facts are also relevant in other family proceedings such as what the care arrangements of the children are going to be or the financial consequences of the breakup of the marriage, and the criminal courts cannot help you with those.

If you are facing an immediate threat to your person the police should always be your first port of call.

If, however, they are unable to help or you would rather not involve them then please do contact us and we shall endeavour to help you.

The Family Team at Coley and Tilley have a lot of experience dealing with cases involving allegations of domestic violence and the consequences of relationship breakdown. If you require additional advice on either, Chris Allen-Jones, Head of the Family Department at Coley & Tilley Solicitors, can be contacted through the switchboard on 0121 643 5531 or by email on caj@coleyandtilley.co.uk

Proposed Increase in Probate Fees

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

The government has announced proposals for reforming the fees payable for an application for a grant of probate. The increase could see some estates paying as much as £20,000.  The intention is to raise an additional £250 million per year to fund the running of the courts and tribunals.

The proposed fees will remove some estates from paying any fee by increasing the threshold for estates exempt from paying fees from £5,000 to £50,000. Estates worth between £50,000 and £300,000 will pay £300 whereas estates valued at over £2 million will be charged £20,000.

The current probate charges are £215 if made by an individual and £155 for applications made via a solicitor (which itself was significantly increased in April 2014 from £45).

Whilst paying a fee based on the size of the estate may appear to be fairer, the work involved at the probate registry will be the same irrespective of the value of the estate.

There is concern that such a hike would increase the pressure on vulnerable individuals to gift money during their lifetime in an attempt to mitigate the fees. There is also concern how the fees will be paid particularly if the deceased has a valuable property but limited cash assets.

For advice on drafting your will, probate or administration of estates please contact Lindsey Bohanna at lindsey.bohanna@coleyandtilley.co.uk

 

 

 

The Serious Crime Act 2015 – are you a victim of Controlling or Coercive Behaviour

Monday, January 25th, 2016

 At the tail end of last year The Serious Crime Act 2015 came into force.

 As was much publicised at the time the Act created a new offence of controlling or coercive behaviour in intimate or familial relationships.

 As the Home Office Statutory Guidance Framework entitled “Controlling or Coercive Behaviour in an Intimate of Family Relationship” dated December 2015 ( the “Statutory Guidance Framework”) makes clear the offence has a number of elements to it:

1.       The behaviour must take place repeatedly or continuously;

2.       The alleged victim and perpetrator must be personally connected at the time the behaviour takes place;

3.       The behaviour must have had a serious effect on the victim;

4.       The behaviour must have caused the victim to fear violence will be used against them or have had a substantial adverse effect on the victim’s day to day activities;

5.       The alleged perpetrator must have known their behaviour would have a serious effect on the victim or ought to have known it would have that effect.

 The Statutory Guidance Framework then, helpfully, gives examples of things that might constitute such behaviour, including: 

1.       Isolating a person from their friends and family;

2.       Depriving them of their basic needs;

3.       Monitoring their time;

4.       Monitoring a person via online communication tools or using spyware;

5.       Taking control over aspects of their everyday life, such as where they can go, who they can see, what to wear and when they can sleep;

6.       Depriving them of access to support services, such as specialist support or medical services;

7.       Repeatedly putting them down such as telling them they are worthless;

8.       Enforcing rules and activity which humiliate, degrade or dehumanise the victim;

9.       Forcing the victim to take part in criminal activity such as shoplifting, neglect or abuse of children to encourage self-blame and prevent disclosure to authorities;

10.   Financial abuse including control of finances, such as only allowing a person a punitive allowance;

11.   Threats to hurt or kill;

12.   Threats to a child;

13.   Threats to reveal or publish private information (e.g. threatening to “out” someone)

14.   Assault;

15.   Criminal damage (such as destruction of household goods);

16.   Rape; and

17.   Preventing a person from having access to transport or from working.

The Guidance emphasises that this is not an exhaustive list and, of course, many of these things are covered by other offences.

The new offence carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment on conviction on indictment.

As with many other potential offences in this area the court has the ability to make a restraining order whether or not a conviction is ultimately successful.

As a result of this and other enactments in this area, for most people the criminal justice system should be their first port of call when looking for protection for the most important reason that they do not have to pay for it.

However it must be remembered that there are also ways in which a perpetrators behaviour can potentially be dealt with in the civil courts and there are sometimes good reasons why one might wish to use the civil rather than criminal courts, including importantly:

1.       You may not want to criminalise your other half but just stop their behaviour;

2.       You control the decisions made in the proceedings, including whether, when and in what circumstances you are going to drop them;

3.       Very often the same facts are also relevant in other family proceedings such as what the care arrangements of the children are going to be or the financial consequences of the breakup of the marriage.

Such proceedings include applications under the Family Law Act 1996 or the Protection from Harassment Act  1997.

If you are an associated person for the purposes of the Family Law Act – which includes most familial situations – then you can apply for either a non-molestation injunction or an occupation order.

A non-molestation injunction is an order that prevents the use or threat of violence and harassing, pestering or interfering with them and in appropriate circumstances can cover children as well.

An occupation order is an order to regulate the occupation of a property and includes the power to force the perpetrator to leave and, having left not to return to, enter or attempt to enter it. In appropriate circumstances the court can impose an exclusion zone around the property.

The powers under the Protection from Harassment Act are broadly similar but also potentially cover people who are not connected under the Family Law Act and/or include the ability to seek an order for damages.

Applications in each case normally require appropriate notice to the alleged perpetrator but in appropriate circumstances can be made without notice such that any order is in force at the time the application is served.

In all proceedings the application must be personally served on the alleged perpetrator and there will be a hearing at which they will be given their opportunity to have their say on the allegations. If they dispute the allegations then they will be given time within which to file any evidence and there would then be a final hearing to determine the matter when evidence hearing, submissions made before judgement is given.

A breach of an injunction order made can then either be enforced in the criminal or civil courts which could lead in either to the party who was alleged to have breached the order being arrested and – which would require a further hearing – their possible fining and/or imprisonment.

If you are afraid that your ex-partner may try and take the children away from you, you can make application for a prohibited steps order. If they have taken the children away without your consent or kept them following a contact visit you can make an application to the court for an order that they are returned to you.

If the children have been removed from the jurisdiction without your consent or an order of the court then – as long as the other country is a signatory to it – the Hague Convention can potentially be used to get the children back.

Although your own evidence is good evidence it is always helpful if there is other corroborating evidence. We would therefore urge people to undertake the following:

1.   Log issues with the police and, if there are children, with social services;

2.   Report any injuries to your Doctor;

3.   Keep a contemporaneous record of events, including the name and contact details of any witnesses;

4.   Keep records of written communications, including text and emails sent and received

If you are facing an immediate threat to your person we would urge you to contact the police in the first instance.

If, however, they are unable to help or you would rather not involve them then please do contact us and we shall endeavour to help you.

The Family Team at Coley and Tilley have a lot of experience dealing with cases involving allegations of domestic violence and the consequences of relationship breakdown. If you require additional advice on either, Chris Allen-Jones, Head of the Family Department at Coley & Tilley Solicitors, can be contacted through the switchboard on 0121 643 5531 or by email on caj@coleyandtilley.co.uk

 

 

 

Separated parents with care of their children wanting to relocate in England or Wales beware

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

https://www.familylawweek.co.uk/site.aspx?i=ed153303

A judgement handed down before Christmas fundamentally changes the test to be applied for the carer of children of a separated couple wanting to relocate their children within England and Wales.

The welfare of the child has always been the court’s paramount consideration.

The evaluation of where a child’s interests lie continues to be determined by reference to the “welfare checklist” in section 1.3 of the Children Act 1989 which required consideration of the following factors:

a)      The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of their age and  understanding);

b)      The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs;

c)       The likely effect on the child of any change in their circumstances;

d)      The child’s age, sex, background and any characteristics of theirs which the court considered relevant;

e)      Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;

f)       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 the child’s needs; and

g)      The range of powers available to the court.

To date, however, the accepted position in law was that the parent with care of the children should not be fettered in where they lived in England or Wales save in exceptional circumstances.

This contrasts with the much more onerous test applied to parents with the care of children wanting to relocate outside of England and Wales where pursuant to the case of Payne –v- Payne [2001] EWCA Civ 166 and subsequent cases the court must then consider the following further guidance:

a)      There is no presumption in favour of the applicant parent;

b)      The reasonable proposals of the parent with care of the child wishing to live abroad carry great weight;

c)       Consequently the proposals of the parent with care have to be scrutinised with care and the court needs to be satisfied that there is a genuine motivation for the move and not the intention to bring contact between the child and the other parent to an end;

d)      The effect upon the applicant parent and the new family of the child of a refusal of leave is very important;

e)      The effect upon the child of the denial of contact with the other parent and in some cases their family is very important;

f)       The opportunity for continuing contact between the child and the parent left behind may be very significant.

Inevitably this has led to many more contested cases where the removal of a child from England and Wales was being considered.

The case of Re C (Internal Relocation) 2015 EWCA 1305 handed down before Christmas changes all that and – pursuant to Mr Justice Bodey’s helpful summary – makes clear that:

a)      “ [Critically] there is no difference in approach as between external and internal relocation and that the decision in either case hinges on the welfare of the child;

b)      The wishes, feelings and interests of the parents and the likely impact of the decision on each of them are of great importance, but in the context of evaluating and determining the welfare of the child; and

c)       In either type of relocation case, external or internal, a judge is likely to find helpful some or all of the considerations referred to in Payne –v- Payne; but not as a prescriptive blueprint; rather and merely as a checklist of the sort of factors which will or may need to be weighed in the balance when determining which decision would better serve the welfare of the child.”

This case, whilst helpfully setting out the criteria to be considered, will inevitably lead to many more contested cases regarding internal relocation.

 The non-resident parent will have far greater scope for objecting to the relocation of their child within England and Wales and therefore parents with care of children who want to relocate within the jurisdiction will need to make much more detailed plans for any move before one will be sanctioned in the event of a dispute.

The Family Team at Coley & Tilley have a lot of experience dealing with cases involving the relocation of children both within and outside England and Wales. If you require additional advice on either, Chris Allen-Jones, Head of the Family Department at Coley & Tilley Solicitors, can be contacted through the switchboard on 0121 643 5531 or by email on caj@coleyandtilley.co.uk