There are many reasons why a parent after separation may wish to relocate, or move cities, with their child, including financial stress, employment opportunities and the need to be close to family support. However, relocation is a difficult issue when parenting after separation, as both the child’s best interests and the interests of the ex-partner come into play.
Parents may be able to reach an consensual agreement that one parent will relocate with the child while the other parent takes care of the child for longer periods of time in the school holidays and throughout the year. Alternately, both parents may relocate, but continue to be separated. If such an agreement is reached, it is highly advisable that the parties file Consent Orders in court, that outline the terms of the agreement reached.
If there is no agreement, the Court’s permission will need to be sought. The Court is generally reluctant to give permission for relocation, given the non-relocating parent will lose significant time with the child. However, if the Court finds adequate reasons for believe the child’s best interests are in relocation, then the Court may make the Orders, with arrangements for the other parent to spend set time with the child. The relocating parent has the burden of demonstrating the child’s best interests are with relocation, as this is the paramount consideration in the eyes of the Court.
When considering making Orders, the Court will also consider:
- The child’s interest in having a meaningful relationship with both parents,
- Protecting the child from physiological or psychological harm, or being exposed to abuse, neglect and/or family violence,
- The views of the child,
- The child’s relationship with each parent, and other family members such as grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousins,
- Maturity, sex, lifestyle and background of the parents and child
- Any other relevant factors
If you would like assisting in relation to you or your ex-partner seeking to relocate with your child or children, please do not hesitate to contact Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors to discuss your options.