There are reports today of another celebrity international battle for child custody.
The latest example of a high-profile couple in dispute as to in which country their children should live following a separation is said to be Gossip Girl actress, Kelly Rutherford and her ex-husband.
Rutherford is based in the USA but the children are currently in France living with their father, and according to press reports, the French courts have ruled that the children should remain living in France, rather than move to America to live with the Gossip Girl star. Rutherford will then have contact with the children on a flexible basis for up to 50% of the time, based on her working commitments, although it is suggested she may be planning to appeal the decision.
Most countries allow either parent to apply to relocate abroad with a child, but the test applied varies significantly. Here in England and Wales, we are seeing a shift in thinking with regard to such applications, with more applications being refused than was previously the case.
Many people automatically assume if they have settled in the country to live with a partner (whether married or not), they would be able to return to their native country to live following the breakdown of the relationship, and indeed it is a common reaction to a separation to want to return home to be around family and friends. Even in these circumstances however, there is no guarantee that an application will be granted, and thorough planning is essential.
Cara Nutall is a Senior Family Law and Divorce Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK.
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