Leave to Remove on Radio 5 Live


Two fathers speak about their experience of leave to remove and the emotional impact of defending against these applications. Catherine Thomas of Vardags solicitors is also interviewed, giving her insight into matters which affect these cases, and the thorny issue of Skype as a substitute for physical contact.

Some perpetuate the view that stopping a primary carer from relocating abroad with your children is impossible. It is not. We helped ‘Mark’, one of the two fathers on the programme, and the one who successfully defended against his leave to remove case. Mark’s case came before 2011 reform of how these cases are handled by the courts. Back then, with the right approach, blocking a leave to remove was possible but extremely difficult and rare. Following the reforms, chances have dramatically improved. Much depends on the circumstances of the case, the extent of the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent, the relocating parent’s past support for contact, and both parents’ plans and motives.

If you are facing an application for leave to remove, we have guides and case law libraries to help you shape your argument for court. Bad outcomes can happen, but you can improve your chances of preventing your child’s relocation by taking the right approach. The approach we recommend is tried and tested, and a number of national charities refer parents to us due to our knowledge and experience in this area.

The radio programme explains how the court’s handling of leave to remove cases has changed in recent years. We led the campaign between 2009 to 2011 to change this area of law. You can read more about that campaign, Sir Bob Geldof’s support, and the reform of relocation related common law on our Relocation Campaign page.