Relocation is what the court calls the act by one parent to alter a child’s living arrangements which involves a significant geographical separation from the other parent. That is, allowing one parent to move a child some distance away from the other parent.
Relocation is what the court calls the act by one parent to alter a child’s living arrangements which involves a significant geographical separation from the other parent. That is, allowing one parent to move a child some distance away from the other parent. It is considered one of the most difficult and controversial issues in family law.
Amendments to the Family Law Act require parents to consult and endeavor to agree where there is shared parental responsibility about the major, long term issues affecting a child. This includes changes to living arrangements that make it significantly more difficult for the child to spend time with a parent.
A common example is where one parent meets a new partner who resides elsewhere and they wish to marry. As a result, the parent wishes to relocate with the child a significant distance away from the other parent.
The parent has a responsibility to consult with the other and seek consent to move. If the parent is agreeable, arrangements can be made for the child to see that parent as agreed between them. If the parent does not consent, relocation with the child cannot occur. An order must be sought from court permitting a move.
The intention of the legislation is for both parents to have an ongoing, meaningful relationship with the child and to make an order that is in the child’s best interests. The legislation encourages maximum involvement from both parents.
These cases are difficult because the courts realize the importance of allowing both parents to have an active role in raising of the child, but acknowledge parents should have freedom to move around and get on with their lives either to form new families or take up lucrative job opportunities. A judge will consider the following:
If no agreement, you cannot make a unilateral decision to move and should seek legal advice. Regardless of any principles the court might apply, each case will be determined on its individual facts.