My ex-partner has said that she is taking our children back to Poland with her. I do not agree as I think they would be better off here. They are in school and settled so there is no way that I am prepared to agree to them going with her. Also, if they go I won't be able to see them every week and I don’t think that would be fair either. Is there anything I can do to stop her?

Areas of Expertise: 

Public Answer: 

I am sorry to hear about your situation. Your ex-partner cannot take the children back to Poland with her, if the children are habitually resident in England, without either your agreement or a UK family court order.
 
If the children are in school in the UK, the likelihood is that the children are habitually resident in the UK. That means if you and your ex-partner cannot agree on what is best for your children, a judge in the UK has the jurisdiction to decide. 
 
We would need more information from you to give advice on your children’s habitual residence. If you fear that your former partner may just take the children to Poland, without your agreement or court order, you could urgently apply for a prohibited steps order to stop her from doing so.
 
If your ex-partner takes legal advice she will probably be told about the need to apply to court for permission to take the children abroad to live. You could oppose the application on the basis that a move to Poland is not in the children’s best interests. However, if you fear that your ex-partner will either not take advice or just flee with the children, we would urge you to speak to us quickly to see how we can help you .
 
Please call us as quickly as you can on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you. 
 
Jordana Adams, Family Solicitor 
 
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