There may be many reasons why you may wish to move to another location following a breakdown of your relationship. It could be due to a new job opportunity, to move closer to family or friends or to put distance between you and your ex-partner or spouse.
Following relationship breakdown, before you move to another location, if you have a child or children together with your ex-partner or spouse, then you must obtain their consent to relocate.
This is because children have the right to have a meaningful relationship with both their parents, and affecting the bond between a child and their parent by placing great distance between them could adversely affect the child and your parenting relationship with your ex-partner or spouse.
You need to consider with any relocation whether it is the best interests of your child to change schools, to make new friends and to be away from their other parent.
If you do need to relocate, then you should do it the right way. Relocating without the consent of the other parent or a court order can result in the court ordering you to return to the area with your child or children pending final hearing of the matter. Given the lengthy delays in the Family Law Court System you could be ordered to return with the child/ren for up to two years.
What can I do if I need to relocate?
• Weigh up your options;
• Talk to the other parent if it is appropriate and see if you can come to an agreement (eg. Longer school holiday stays);
• Seek legal advice and have your solicitor draw up a parenting plan or consent orders allowing the move; or
• Attend Family Dispute Resolution (Mediation)
If you and your ex-spouse or ex-partner can’t agree, then you will need to go to court and ask for the court’s permission to relocate with the child/ren. You should always seek advice early to make sure you are making the right choices for your family.
The court will always consider the best interests of the child before making any parenting order. If you would like assistance weighing up what is in your children’s best interests when it comes to relocation contact MDV Family Lawyers.