I want to move abroad with my child

According to the Hague Abduction Convention, with some simplification, a child cannot move with one parent to another state without the other parent's consent or stay in the other state longer than agreed between the parents against the other parent's wishes.

If the other parent's right to care for the child is violated, it is unlawful. The decisive factor is not the subjective impression of one parent that the other parent is not fulfilling their parental responsibilities but the legal regulation of parental responsibility in the particular state.

Not every move abroad ends in "international parental kidnapping," but it is advisable to be informed appropriately, so do not hesitate to contact the authorities.

What should I do if I want to move abroad with my child?

Respecting the rights of both parents of the child and taking into account the possibility of a legal solution to international parental kidnapping and its negative consequences, we recommend you follow the following rules when moving or staying abroad for an extended time:

  • inform the other parent in good time of your intention to move yourself and the child abroad
  • work out together how both parents will share the care of the child while you are living abroad
  • discuss the move with the child as well to prevent the child from being uprooted from their environment from one day to the next; the child should agree to the move
  • get the other parent's consent to the move (change of the child's usual residence) - ideally in writing

Written consent from the other parent is the best way to avoid future complications. Ideally, you should also agree in writing how you will continue to fulfill your role as parents, for example, in a parenting plan.

It is recommended that the long-term travel consents are drawn up in English or in the language of the country to which you are traveling and with notarised or otherwise officially certified signatures. A suitable option may be consent given in Czech accompanied by an official translation into English or the language of the country where the child is traveling.

Suppose it is not possible to obtain the consent of the other parent because the other parent refuses to give it. In that case, it is possible to ask the court to consent to the change of residence of the child (permanent removal). This is a petition for a decision on an important matter of the child under Section 877 of the Civil Code.

Possible consequences of moving abroad

Moving abroad, although not a factual problem in today's globalized world, may be a legal complication in the future. Parents should at least take into account the following consequences:

  • they must abide by the law of the country where they will live
  • they will be subject to local child welfare standards and the local social support system
  • where they live, they will also have to deal with the child's health care, insurance, or schooling - each system has different arrangements for free and paid services
  • the actual residence of the child usually gives the courts of the country jurisdiction to decide about the child - i.e., to decide on custody arrangements, maintenance, removal, or alternative family care

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a staff member.