Abduction and relocation
Can I stop my ex-partner from moving away with the children?
If a move means that it will be more difficult to maintain regular contact with the children it may be possible to oppose this move in the court or have the children returned. Each case will be considered on its own circumstances, and the court will decide on the basis of what is best for the children, not what is best for one of their parents. You cannot prevent the other parent from moving, but it may be possible to stop a move by your children.
It is possible to object to a move within Scotland or to another part of the UK, not just to a move to another country. Don’t delay in taking action, as it is harder to force a return if children have settled in a new location.
Can my children be taken abroad without my permission?
If the children are being taken to live outside the UK you can take action to have them returned so that a Scottish court can decide whether this removal should be allowed. Consult a lawyer who has experience in such cases and see the Scottish Government guidance. If the children have been taken to a country which is part of the Hague Convention this process will be easier. You can also seek support from the Central Authority for Scotland and Reunite.
If the children are simply being taken for a holiday, you should have been asked to give your agreement if you have parental rights and responsibilities. Rather than making this into a conflict, we suggest that you should agree to holiday trips and offer to provide the other parent with a letter giving your authority in case there is any problem when leaving the UK. In return you can ask for details of the trip. Trying to stop a holiday trip won’t be popular with the children, and if you go to court to try and stop it you may find that a sheriff will allow the trip and you risk being accused of controlling behaviour.