Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner – What happens when parents disagree?

Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner locked in relocation battle over their children. Here, McAlister Family Law Solicitor Nicola Bradley looks at what happens when parents disagree on which country their children should live in?

Game of Thrones star, Sophie Turner, and her pop-star husband, Joe Jonas, are currently going through a very public and increasingly acrimonious divorce. To add to their troubles, the pair are now engaged in a very heated court battle over the arrangements for their one year old and three year old daughters. It has been widely reported that Turner and Jonas cannot agree on where the children will live; Turner allegedly claims that Jonas has “abducted” the girls and is wrongfully retaining them in America, whilst a representative for Jonas has hit back with claims that the use of the word “abduction” is a serious abuse of the legal system and entirely misleading in the circumstances.

It can often be very difficult for parents to navigate the arrangements for children when a marriage or relationship comes to an end, but these problems are magnified when the dispute is over which country the children should live in.

In the first instance, parents should always try to sit down and talk this issue through in the hope that an agreement can be reached. In Turner and Jonas’ case, Turner argues that the pair had already agreed that the children would reside in the UK and that Jonas has since resiled from this by keeping the children in America and refusing to hand over their passports.

In circumstances where an agreement has broken down or where you cannot reach agreement, the parent wishing to relocate will need to apply for a Court Order allowing them to do so and permitting them to take the children with them. When making this decision, the paramount consideration of the Court will be the welfare of the children and whether a relocation would be in their best interests. When making this decision, the Court will have mind to a number of factors including but not limited to:-

  • the motivation of the parent making the application
  • whether the practical proposals have been well researched and investigated
  • The reasons for the other parent’s opposition to the relocation
  • The effect granting or not granting relocation would have on the children’s relationship with either their parents and their respective families

The Court will also take into the children’s wishes and feelings, so far as they can be ascertained. The older a child is, the more weight and emphasis will be placed on what they want to do and what they feel is right for them.

It is important to remember that neither parent can make a unilateral decision to take the children to another country. If one parent takes the children out of the jurisdiction without the expressed permission of the other parent, this amounts to abduction and emergency orders can be obtained for the summary return of the children to this country. Similarly, if you are concerned that the children are at risk of being taken out of the jurisdiction by the other parent, emergency orders can be sought to prevent this from happening.

If you or someone you know is affected by the issues raised in this blog post, we can provide you with expert legal advice. For more information, please get in touch with our specialist team at


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