Relocation conflicts


Relocation can be a difficult topic for divorced parents even long time after these parents have finalized their divorces.

If parents have joint responsability/custody and wish to relocate their children, they must either have the consent of the other parent or a court order permitting the relocation.

If the other parent does not agree, the moving parent must petition the court and demonstrate that the relocation is in the child’s best interest. The other parent is given an opportunity to object to the move, and case law sets forth a series of factors the courts must consider when determining whether to allow relocation.

When considering whether to allow child relocation Dutch courts will look at the following factors:

  • the rights and interests of the relocating parent to move and his/hers freedom to decide how to live their live;
  • the need to move;
  • the degree to which the move is thought out and prepared;
  • the offered alternatives to mitigate/compensate the effects of the relocation for the child and the other parent;
  • the extent to which parents are able to communicate and consultate with each other;
  • the rights of the other parent and the child to preserve contact in their familiar surroundings;
  • the distribution of the care tasks and the continuity of the care;
  • the frequency of contact between the child and the other parent before and after the move;
  • the age of the child, his opinion and the extent to which it is rooted in its surroundings or just accustomed to relocations;
  • if the (extra) cost of acces arrangements caused by the move are compensated in whole or partly by the relocating parent.

As you can see many factors play a role in answering the question whether or not can be moved. What factor (s) is / are decisive, will vary by case. Each case is different and a consideration of these factors can therefore lead to a different outcome.

It is not advised to move without permission from the other parent!
In many cases this leads to the obligation to move back to the old hometown. A transfer abroad of children without permission of the other parent, may even be considered as child abduction. Also, the other parent – if timely attempted – can petition the court for a prohibition to move.

We represent parents in both situations. Whether you are considering relocating your family or the other parent intends to relocate, we can advise and provide experienced representation.

Please feel free to contact one of our lawyers to discuss your situation or make an appointment.