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If you move abroad, your nationality and permanent residence remains. That is all. By change of your residence abroad you change your center of living and many things are upside-down.

A wide-spread myth says that it is the Embassy that will help you to manage ordinary issues abroad. The Embassy is set up mainly to help you in critical situation. In example by issuing you an emergency travel document that gets you back to your country. The Embassy can help you to contact you family in your country and provide you with list of help organizations, including list of solicitors. However, the Embassy is not here to compete with state organizations or to check whether they take correct steps or to issue complaint about their interventions.

After the relocation you will be in close touch with the local offices (and courts, if necessary). This means that you have to adapt to law, rules and customs that are common abroad. Before you leave, it is good to find out as much practical information as possible, i. e. under what conditions you can work and live in the country, what state support you can get and how you will manage things regarding to your children.

Apart from this, the competence of the courts is changed. Mostly you will have to plead in the country you live in (especially if you have settled in the European Union), and the Court will decide the case the most probably under the right of its own country. It is highly recommended to find out in advance conditions of court proceedings, especially how much the attorney costs, under what conditions you are entitled to legal aid and what will be checked by the court in the proceedings.

And what about court competence? The child´s residence is the key. In the European Union, you should plead at the court where the child lives. Therefore, if you leave the Czech Republic and settle in France, but the child lives in Italy, you will have to go to Italian courts. Residence is the key factor in custody, child support, and all-important matters (i. e. school and city where the child will live). If you want to divorce, you should turn to courts where you lived as spouses.

If you have valid court order in respect of family situation, you can enforce it in the concerned country. This works especially in the European Union. It is great to know this for example in situation when one of the parent lives abroad and does not pay child support, or does not enable contact of the child with the second parent.

If you move abroad with the child, you need to have consent of the second parent, the best in written form, with certified signatures. Or a court order. We will be talking more about what happens if you leave without the consent of the second parent in next part of our series. We are looking forward to you!