Deborah Eaton QC and Stephen Jarmain seek to clarify the law on Internal Relocation in the Court of Appeal

Deborah Eaton QC and Stephen Jarmain instructed by Stewarts Law act for the respondent mother in an appeal relating to the issue of internal relocation in a case in which she was granted permission to relocate at first instance.

Such cases arise when one parent seeks to move with their child to another part of the United Kingdom, and the other parent objects. Whilst there is a close connection between internal and external (international) relocation cases, the law on international relocation is far more developed notwithstanding the frequency with which people move within the United Kingdom. However, the number of reported Court of Appeal decisions in this area is small and this appeal raises issues that are of general public importance.

Indeed, the legal significance of this case is such that the International Centre for Family Law, Policy and Practice (“the ICFLPP”) was granted permission to intervene in order to make written submissions in relation to the development of the English law on internal relocation, in particular the issue of the status of certain authorities which appear to state that restrictions on internal relocation are ‘truly exceptional’.

Emma Hatley, Partner in the Divorce and Family department at Stewarts Law comments, “Each member of a fractured family has rights to assert and in balancing them the court must adhere to the paramount principle of child welfare. Whilst this case will set an important legal precedent in clarifying the legal principles to be applied in internal relocation cases this is a private matter so if our client’s privacy could be respected that would be appreciated.”