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Removal of a child within the UK is not a wrongful removal, unlike removal to another country

A parent proposing to move with a child from England to another area within the UK does not require the consent of anyone else with parental responsibility unless there is already a Child Arrangements Order in place that deals with the issue.

The question was dealt with by the Court of Appeal in the case of Re R (child) [2015] EWCA Civ C iv 1016. In this case the Mother had moved with the child from Kent to the north east of England and the Father applied for the child to be returned. It was argued in the Court of Appeal that removal to another part of the UK should be treated in the same way as removal to a foreign country. It was argued that there should be an Order for summary return in the same way as would be standard for a foreign abduction, and the presumption should be that the child should be returned to their place of habitual residence for the dispute to be determined there. The Court of Appeal rejected those arguments. It held that a unilateral move of this type will be normally subject to Children Act proceedings and the outcome decided by applying the welfare principle and the welfare checklist contained in the Act.

The same position applies for removal to any of the other legal jurisdictions within the United Kingdom e.g. Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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Children's Issues

The scenario below does not relate to any individual clients of ours but the facts and the outcomes relate to some similar experiences in our practice.

Scenario Analysis Example #1

The Scenario

Mr and Mrs H separated. Mr H moved a few streets away and their eldest boy (now 15) lived with him. The younger children (14 and 12) stayed with Mrs H but the children live near each other and attend the same school.

Mrs H remarried and wishes to move to her new husband's city. Mr H sought advice about residence of the other children. He told us the middle child wanted to stay at school with his friends.

Our Solution

There is no set age at which a child can "choose". Nevertheless in reality it would be hard for Mrs H to resist the 14 year old's wishes. We needed to be careful not to stress the children. Rather than issuing proceedingswe arranged mediation for Mr and Mrs H to discuss the issues.

We advised Mr H to be flexible regarding contact. They reached an amicable arrangement for all children to live with Mr H for the school week and half weekends; and flexible school holiday arrangements.

Henry Brookman Discusses: Childrens Issues

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I would like to say my experience with Mr Brookman was an extremely positive experience. His knowledge, advice and compassion put me very much at ease and made a very difficult situation much more bearable.

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Very helpful, and honest about my situation even though it wasn’t business for them at this time. Would recommend.

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I want to highly commend Brookman Solicitors firm. I had the privilege of getting very thorough and sensible advice from their solicitor Jennifer Douglas. I don't have enough praise for her.

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I had an initial consultation and Henry was well prepared. He gave great advice and followed through quite quickly. He was very helpful.

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I had a free consultation with Henry Brookman. He was incredibly knowledgeable about my complex situation, gave straightforward advice and empowered me to understand exactly how I need to proceed.

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Henry was extremely helpful and pleasant to speak with. He provided comprehensive advice in a matter of hours and responded promptly to any queries I had.

Jun 2020   Sarah Jones

Excellent service. I had a consultation directly with Mr Brookman and his advice and guidance was very clear and helpful. Would highly recommend.

Mar 2020   Jamie Warnes

About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law firm, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Our principal Henry Brookman has practised law for over 40 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Senior Partner

Henry Brookman

Henry Brookman is the founding Partner of Brookman Solicitors, described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

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Partner

Talitha Brookman

Talitha is a Partner in the firm and a very experienced practitioner. She has been exclusively practising family law for over 15 years and is a recognised expert in her field.

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Associate Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is an Associate Partner at Brookman. He is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and has been recommended by the Legal 500.

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Associate Solicitor

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

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Solicitor

Jennifer Douglas

Jennifer is a talented solicitor, experienced in all elements of family law, including high net worth financial proceedings, Children Act proceedings and financial claims.

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Solicitor

Gavin Yeung

Gavin has excellent experience in family law including divorce and financial proceedings and international child abduction proceedings involving Hague Convention countries.

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Chartered Legal Executive

Lorraine Imms

With over 20 years' family law experience, Lorraine can advise on divorce, matrimonial finances, cohabitee disputes, nuptial agreements and private children matters.

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Office Manager

Lorna Martin

Lorna is our Office Manager who oversees the operations of the firm including providing accounts support as well as secretarial support to the team.

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Accounts Manager

Evdokia Dikova

Eva is an AAT qualified accounts manager and holds full AAT membership (MAAT). She gained her degree in financial accounting from the University of Economics in Bulgaria.

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Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

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Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

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Front of House Manager

Patricia Antonio

Patricia is an experienced secretary and office administrator, handling the calls that come into the office, greeting clients, and managing office presentation.

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