8 Utrecht L. Rev. 1 (2012)

handle is hein.journals/utrecht8 and id is 1 raw text is: This article is published in a peer-reviewed section of the Utrecht Law Review
Time to Move On?
The International State of Affairs with Respect to Child Relocation Law
Yildiz Maria Berenos*
1. Introducing the problem of child relocation
In today's increasingly mobile society, it is not uncommon that - after separation - parents want to re-
locate with their child for better job or educational opportunities or to live with a new partner. In these
circumstances it is crucial that parents know what the rules are with respect to relocation: unfamiliarity
with the question of whether and under which circumstances it is allowed to relocate could lead to child
relocation that violates the law and as a consequence can be labelled as child abduction.1
Despite the importance of clear and understandable relocation law, its existence is not self-evident:
not every jurisdiction appears to acknowledge the importance of having relocation law. The United
States of America seems to be the country where the issue of relocation is highest on the agenda. Three
American organizations have published non- binding law regarding child relocation and at least 39
American states have adopted relocation law. In Australia and Europe the issue of relocation is also a
topic of debate. In addition to these national and regional developments, international developments
can also be observed. In 2009 and 2010 at least three conferences were held to address the issue of relo-
cation.3 Various countries worldwide were involved, among which also European countries, including
European Union Member States. The fact that EU Member States were internationally involved, reflects
that child relocation is also in focus in European Union Member States. However, the European Union as
an umbrella body is conspicuous by its absence. To date, in the European Union the issue of child reloca-
tion has not been addressed. This is remarkable because the European Union has addressed many other
aspects of child-related issues, in particular with respect to cross-border relocations.
* Yildiz Maria Br~nos (e-mail: y.m.berenos@uu.nl) works at the Molengraaff Institute for Private Law, Utrecht University School of Law,
Utrecht (the Netherlands). Her PhD thesis, which she is currently writing under the supervision of Prof. K. Boele-Woelki, addresses child
relocation from a comparative perspective. She also works as a lawyer at Groenendijk & Kloppenburg Advocaten (Leiden, the Nether-
1  Child abduction is usually defined as the wrongful removal or retention of the child outside his or her state of residence, see K. Boele-
Woelki et al., Principles of European Family Law Regarding Parental Responsibilities, 2007, p. 138.
2 The Australian Family Law Council has published recommendations regarding relocation that are used by courts when determining relo-
cation disputes. In Europe, the Commission of European Family Law (CEFL) and the Council of Europe have addressed the issue of child
3 In 2009 the International Family Justice Judicial Conference for Common Law and Commonwealth Jurisdictions was held in Windsor,
England. In 2010 the International Judicial Conference on Cross-border Family Relocation addressed the issue of relocation by publishing
the Washington Declaration on International Family Relocation. Fourteen jurisdictions throughout the world were involved in the drafting
process, of which four countries were European jurisdictions. Additionally, three months later in June 2010 a Conference on International
Child Abduction, Forced Marriage and Relocation was held in London, England. Eighteen jurisdictions were represented, seven of which
were European jurisdictions.
http://www.utrechtlawreview.org / Volume 8, Issue 1 (January) 2012 I URN:NBN:NL:UI:1O-1-101431 I

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