The Government has just published updated figures showing that over ¼ (25.5%) of children born in the UK have a foreign-born mother. This is the highest proportion since records began in 1969. In London the figure is a staggering 56.7%.

The ‘top’ country in the tables was Poland. This reflects the increase of eastern European nationals living in the UK over the last decade following the expansion of the EU.

Such important social changes has resulted in an increasing globalisation of family law and if one or more of the children’s parents are foreign nationals, this brings another layer to resolving family disputes if the relationship breaks down. For example, if one of the child’s parents wishes to return to their home country, this can precipitate an application to the court for permission to move with the child abroad. If the parties are separated a client can be faced with potential divorce proceedings in another country as well as in the UK.

Where there are international aspects it is crucial that a client takes urgent advice about what steps he or she can take to protect their position before alerting the other spouse.