Children moving or travelling abroad

Parental responsibility includes the rights and responsibilities of a parent in relation to the child or the property of the child. Special rules apply in situations where a parent and child intend to relocate to another country or to travel abroad.

The provisions concerning the parents' and children's rights to relocate and travel are found in Sections 40 and 41 of the Children Act

A parent with sole parental responsibility may decide to relocate to another country. This parent may also decide regarding any stay or travel abroad.

Joint parental responsibility however, entails that both parents must consent to international relocation etc., and each parent may only (without a consent) take the child on short trips abroad.

If the parents disagree on parental responsibility, international relocation or custody (the child's place of residence), the child may not move abroad until the matter has been decided, cf. the Children Act Section § 40, Paragraph (2).

Amendments to the Children Act in force 1 July 2016 include a clarification of the rules in cases where a parent with parental responsibility has agreed to allow the child to visit or spend time in another country, namely, that the parent’s consent is required if the stay is to be extended or changed. This includes cases where the child is left behind in another country.

Amendments to the Children Act in force 1 July 2016 further entail that children aged 12 or above who move or travel to another state must give their consent to this when the trip is to be taken without the parent who has parental responsibility.

Amendments to the Children Act also mean that a parent will be entitled to seek a court order to relocate to another state with the child.