The fact that there is no court order restraining a parent from relocating with a child does not mean that the parent can freely do so. The most important requirement in children relocation is the agreement of the other parent.
A court can order the relocation or non-relocation of a child in accordance with the child’s best interests. Likewise, the court can order that a child shall not be returned if it is in the child’s best interests to remain in his present area.
A parent who has the primary care of a child and needs to relocate should endeavour to reach an agreement with the other parent. The agreement may stipulate that the child will spend school holidays or longer visits with the other parent. The other parent might also be open to move to the place where the other parent wants to relocate.
A written parenting plan may be executed once the parties reach an agreement. With a parenting plan, the parties need not go to court and they may change it in accordance with the circumstances. The downside, however, is that a parenting plan is not legally enforceable. That is why most parties opt to ask for consent orders or a parenting order which are made by a judicial officer and are legally enforceable.
If the other party does not agree to the relocation, a court order may be sought by the party who wants to relocate. In deciding whether to allow the relocation or not, the court will consider the best interests of the child. On the other hand, the recourse of the other party is to apply to the court to restrain the relocation of the child.