A Game of Jurisdictions – Joe Jonas & Sophie Turner

Stories continue to whirl in the press further to the breakdown of the marriage of Game of Thrones Star, Sophie Turner and her popstar husband, Joe Jonas. Breaking news, yesterday, states that the pair have now reached a temporary custody agreement, following Sophie Turner “suing” Joe for the return of the children to the UK.

Whilst disputes of this nature may seem reserved for the rich and famous, issues relating to relationship breakdown and the relocation of children both internally, within the UK, and internationally are becoming increasingly common. 

What does the law say?

In order to remove a child or children from the jurisdiction (England or Wales), the removing parent must have the consent of the other party or a court order known as a Child Arrangements Order. If a parent takes a child to live in another country without the permission of the other parent/guardian or a court order, this is known as international child abduction.

There are two types of child abduction: –

  • Wrongful removal – where a child is taken or sent abroad without the agreement of all those with parental responsibility; and
  • Wrongful retention – where a child has been kept in a foreign country following an overseas trip without the agreement of all those with parental responsibility.

Planning to move?

If you have separated from your partner and you are planning to move abroad with the children of the family, it is imperative that this is agreed with your ex-partner in advance of the move to prevent difficulties from arising.

If an agreement cannot be reached, mediation can assist in resolving these disputes, whilst keeping the parent’s relationships as amicable as possible. In circumstances where an agreement still cannot be reached, the only way forward would be to issue a court application for a Child Arrangements Order.

Relocation cases are often complex, highly fact-specific and fraught with emotion. These cases involve balancing a parent’s wish to relocate with the best interests of the children of the family. It is essential that, if you find yourself in a multi-jurisdictional dispute you seek advice quickly from a family lawyer.

The family team at Swinburne Maddison provide tailored legal advice and support to help parents navigate the process of making or challenging applications to relocate. If you require any further advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact please contact managing associate, Catherine Lowther, by telephone at 0191 384 2441 or by email at cel@swinburnemaddison.co.uk.

This article is for general information only.  It does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal or professional advice. The law may have changed since this article was published and we would always recommend that you seek specific advice on any particular legal issue.

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