Wife leaving the UK and taking our 2 year old son to South Africa

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  • #7502 Report


    My wife and I are starting divorce proceedings and she wants to return to her home country of South Africa with our 2 year old little boy (Zach). She is a South African National in the UK on a Spouse Visa and has been for the past 4.5 years. Whilst I knew divorce was imminent, I’m devastated to hear that she wants to take our son with her. Legal advice seems to suggest that any application to the court for my son to remain in the UK is unlikely to succeed given that her family and friend network is largely South African based as opposed to a relatively small UK network.

    My feeling is that within the next 2 months, she will want to return. Each day is a struggle at the moment thinking about Zach leaving – I’m pretty emotional as you can imagine.

    Has anyone had, or is currently encountering, a similar experience? Am after some advice, guidance and support.

    Thank you…….

    #7508 Report


    Hi Drew

    Sorry to read about your story. I’m assuming that you have parental Responsibility ?

    There is a website separate dads which clearly states that your wife will need your agreement to take your son to live abroad.

    she would need to apply to the courts for an order??


    i wish you all the very best

    #7509 Report


    Sorry the website is separated dads.

    also it states that it is a criminal offence to emigrate with a child if consent is not given.

    do you have a solicitor? Please pm me if I can help

    #7516 Report


    Thank you for your comprehensive response Anonymous – no formal custody arrangements have been agreed yet and i’m trying my best to keep this away from the courts where possible although it might be inevitable that we end up in this scenario!

    Whilst she needs my permission to leave the UK and enter SA, it could end up costing 10’s thousands to keep them inj the UK temporarily and eventually, they would probably get a court order granted to leave. There are no extenuating circumstances here either thankfully.

    My only real options are moving to SA or certainly far closer and agreeing on some form of shared custodial arrangement that is enforceable in SA too.

    It’s going to be a long 2018??

    Thanks again for your advice 🙂

    #7519 Report


    Hi. Yes I’ve been through a children’s hearing and Anonymous is correct, the initial fee is a few hundred pounds and you can represent yourself.

    You said that your ex is here on a spousal visa. This was based on your relationship ? So now you are separated she either has to apply for another visa or leave the country.

    she has a choice and so do you if you don’t consent to her possible move

    #7521 Report


    Thanks to all for your prompt feedback – extremely helpful and its encouraging to know that it won’t cost the earth should I wish to represent myself in court. I hadn’t considered the shared custody option so that might be an angle to pursue – I could say I want him in the UK for 1/4 of the year for example.

    Thanks again all.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

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