International Family Law Unit
International Family Law Solicitors
Watkins Solicitors has a specialist international Family Law unit which is headed by Sheldon Price, a very experienced family solicitor who qualified in 1998. Prior to being a solicitor, Sheldon worked as a nurse.
The unit covers the following areas:-
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Honour based violence
Violence inflicted on a family member because of a belief that this particular person may bring or is bringing dishonour on the family. There may be violence in forced marriages. There are a number of protective steps the court can take to help people in these situations, including making what is known as a Non-Molestation Order prohibiting a person from being violent, threatening violence or intimidating and harassing or instructing anyone else to carry out these acts.
Female genital mutilation (FGM)
Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a practice that has been carried out in many countries. In England, FGM is unlawful.
A girl may be in danger of FGM if one or both of her parents are from or have a family connection to a country where FGM is commonly practised and there is a fear that the girl will be taken to that country for the purposes of FGM to be carried out. If there is a situation, an application may be made by either one of the parents or a Local Authority to prevent the girl from being taken abroad, as well as a protective order preventing the FGM from being carried out.
Under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003, the court has the power to make an FGM Protective Order to protect a girl against the carrying out of an FGM offence or protecting a girl against whom such an offence has already been carried out to prevent individuals from carrying out a range of acts and imposing restrictions in order to protect the girl. The court may order for one or both parents as well as the girl to surrender a passport. Orders may also be made prohibiting the girl and/or parents from travelling abroad.
International child relocation
If you are thinking about relocating to a country outside of England and Wales, the permission of the other parent and anyone else who has parental responsibility must be obtained. Such cases can be very complex and it is always best to obtain early specialist legal advice.
You will need to provide evidence that it is in your child’s best interests to relocate. There is nothing preventing a parent from relocating to another country. However, the courts have powers to prevent a child from relocating. You will need to provide evidence of where the child will be educated, how the child would be supported, as well as the accommodation that will be provided for the child when you live abroad.
The following evidence is likely to be required in any case where a parent is seeking to relocate to a country outside of England and Wales:-
- Evidence of the accommodation where the child will be living. This will include photographs;
- Evidence of the education and details of the education that will be available to the child in the other country. This can include the equivalent details of a prospectus, details examination results, as well as details of the equivalent of an Ofsted report. If the education is privately paying, how will this be funded?
- How the parent will support the child and themselves in the new country. If it is planned that the parent will obtain work, evidence of this needs to be provided as well as details of the income;
- Medical provision in the country where the parent is seeking to relocate. This should include evidence of medical insurance, if relevant;
- Details of proposals for contact between the child and non-resident parent. This should include direct contact as well as indirect contact by way of video link;
- Details of family, friends and other support networks which the parent has in the new country.