Relocation after divorce, whether interstate or overseas, can cause difficulties after divorce or separation.
Wanting to move away with children, or wanting to prevent a parent moving away following divorce or separation can be a complex issue. The Family Law Courts refer to a parent wanting to move away with children as “Relocation.”
If a parent wants to relocate with children, he or she must first obtain the consent of the other parent or if the other parent does not agree, the consent of the Family Law Courts.
Whilst the Family Law Courts cannot stop a parent from relocating, the Family Law Courts can prevent children from relocating. In some cases the Court can order children to stay and it will be up to the parent wanting to move away, whether he or she will stay or move without the child.
If a parent takes matters into their own hands and relocates with the children without the other parent’s, or the Court’s consent, an application can be made to the Family Law Courts for the children to be returned until the Court makes a final decision about the relocation. If there are Court Orders in place and a parent relocates without consent or an appropriate order, that parent will be in breach of the court order.
What do the Family Law Courts consider when determining whether it is in the children’s best interests to relocate?
The principles applied by the Courts in relocation cases are the same principles and considerations applied to every other parenting case. These principles include the following:-
After considering these principles, the Courts will then weigh up each parent’s proposals of what is best for the children, by considering the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal, and the arrangements which were in place prior to one parent wanting to relocate. The distance the parent wants to relocate is a very important consideration, as the further away a parent wants to move with the children, the harder it can be for the other parent to maintain a parental bond with the children.
By Lindsay Brown
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