I want to move my child away from my ex partner, can I?

Family Law 13/07/2017 by Natasha Smith

There are several issues that need to be considered, so unfortunately there is no clear cut yes or no answer. Basically it depends…

Unless there is an Order for sole Parental Responsibility you are required to agree on issues which effect the long term well being of your children with the other parent. This includes changing the living arrangements of the child that would make it significantly difficult to spend time with a parent.

The parent wanting to move has a responsibility to consult with the other parent and seek consent to move. If the other parent is agreeable, arrangements can be made for the child to see that parent as agreed between them.

Where appropriate, a Consent Order should be made in relation to the new arrangements. If the other parent does not agree then the relocation should not occur and a Court Order should be obtained from the Court to allow the move. Be aware that if a parent relocated without consent it is possible for the other parent to commence proceedings to have the children returned either with or without the relocated parent.

In deciding a relocation case, the Court will consider:

  • The current circumstances of the child,
  • The impact of the relocation, such as; ability to travel, financial circumstances of the parents, and the capacity, ability and willingness of the parents to facilitate the ongoing relationship between the child and the other parent,
  • If there are any other possible arrangements such as whether the other parent can relocate to the location.

The Court has a duty to weigh up all the possible considerations.

It is important before any relocation that you discuss any possible move with the other parent. If they agree, ensure they are able to maintain a significant role in their child’s life and get the agreement documented by way of Consent Order, at the very least in some form of written agreement.

If no agreement can be achieved seek legal advice. Each case will be determined on its individual facts and it is important that you receive advice based on your individual circumstances.

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