If you wish to make a new start after a separation or divorce and relocate with your child or children, you must get consent from the other parent or permission from the Court. Failure to take these steps could be seen as child abduction.
If a Residence Order or Contact Order is in place, your child may not be taken out of the country for more than one month without first securing agreement from the other parent or getting permission from the Court.
You wish to relocate your child
The first step if you wish to relocate with your child is to get consent from the other parent. You can not apply to the Court for permission to relocate without first trying to negotiate with the other parent. If you cannot get the other parent to agree, you can apply for a Specific Issue Order giving a judge authority to decide whether you have permission to relocate with your child.
The Judge will act in the best interests of the child, taking into account factors such as the child’s age, level of integration into current society, schooling arrangements, and continuing contact with their other parent.
You disagree with your ex-partner's plan to relocate your child
You can challenge your ex-partner’s plan to relocate your child in court. If you have not consented to the relocation, the other parent must apply for a Court Order. The court will then make a decision based on what is best for your child.
If your child is being relocated to another country, other issues need to be considered. Agreements made in Ireland may not be binding in the new location. You should consult a solicitor if your child may be relocated. They may be able to help you stop the relocation or protect your rights if your child does move abroad.
Child has been relocated without your consent
If the other parent has relocated your child without your permission or a Court Order, you can apply to the court. The court may order your ex-partner to return. If your child was moved to another country without your consent or a court order, it is considered child abduction. International agreements have been put in place to protect parents’ rights in such situations.