Q&A Can I stop maintenance to prevent my ex from taking our kids to live abroad?

Q:      My wife and I got divorced in 2018. Under a Child Arrangements Order the children live with her as I often work away, and it was felt this was in their best interests. I should have them every other weekend, but I accept they sometimes have other things they want to do instead and so I work around them. My ex-wife meanwhile has decided she wants to begin a new life abroad and take the children with her. She says I cannot stop her, and I will have to keep sending her money for them even if I do not agree with the move and cannot see them. I am totally distraught. Can I do anything to stop her?

A:       If you do not agree with the children going to live abroad, your ex-wife will need to apply to the Court for an order for permission to relocate permanently with the children. If she fails to get such permission, she could be committing a serious criminal offence. Whilst the Court will not be able to prevent her from relocating, its primary concern will be whether it is in the children’s best interests for her to do so and take the children, and whether there is an appropriate strategy in place for the children to maintain regular contact with you.

Regarding maintenance, your current obligation in the UK to make child support payments will still be applicable, under reciprocal arrangements in international agreements that the UK has with more than 100 other countries. If you are concerned that your ex-wife may just take off with the children, you can apply for a Prohibited Steps Order that would prevent her from taking the children abroad without your consent. You should make an appointment to see a family solicitor who, once in receipt of the full facts, will be able to advise you on your best course of action.

This question has been answered by Sean Rolinson, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.  If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter it is still possible, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that we continue to offer our high levels of service to our clients.  Where possible, we ask that you communicate with us by phone or email. If you have a new enquiry or for an appointment visit www.ghplegal.com or contact one of our offices: Wrexham 01978 291456, Llangollen 01978 860313, Oswestry 01691 659194

Sean Rolinson

Sean Rolinson


Part of our Family & Matrimonial team in Wrexham