Expat relocating home with children

Suzie and Joe are British, but live in Dubai with their 2 children aged 4 and 6. They had been living in Dubai for 5 years and were happy there until their marriage began to deteriorate. Suzie was thinking about moving back to England with the children but was uncertain as she worried that Joe would try and stop her. Suzie and the children went back to England in July as usual, to stay with family and friends for a few months; they were due to return in early September in time for the next school term. Whilst back in England, Suzie felt increasingly worried about returning to her broken marriage and the uncertainty of resolving the family issues through the local courts. She decided to stay in England with the children and enrol them in local schools, after all, they were all British and this was their home, wasn’t it?

Joe sought legal advice and found out that Suzie could not relocate the children to England without his agreement or order of the court. He commenced Wardship proceedings in England and sought the return of the children to Dubai. With the help of mediation, Suzie and Joe were able to discuss what was best for the children and reach an agreement that met both their concerns. Joe agreed that if Suzie returned to Dubai with the children, he would pay for a separate home and maintenance for them so they could live independently. They reached an agreement that the children would live with Suzie but would stay with Joe two nights a week. Lawyers for Suzie and Joe worked to put in place orders and safeguards that legally prevented both of them from reneging on the agreement they reached.

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