Family Law Parenting Matter

Relocation of Children

What should I do if I want to move with my children?

If your child lives with you and you need to relocate, you should speak with the other parent first. You should discuss your proposal for relocation with the other parent including the proposed living arrangements for the child, and when the other parent will spend time with the child.

The Family Law Act 1975 provides a presumption of equal shared parental responsibility which means that both parents should be involved in major decisions relating to their child including where they live.

If your ex-partner agrees to the move, we can help you with formalising this agreement. If they don’t, you may need to make an application with the Court seeking a Relocation Order.

What does the Court consider when making a Relocation Order?

First and foremost, the Court will consider the best interests of the child. This includes considering the relationship between the child and the other parent, and the likely affect of any changes on the child as a result of a change in the child’s circumstances. The Court will also consider the practicalities of a move such as distance of the move and costs of travel for the child to visit and spend time with the other parent.

These issues need to be balanced with the desire of the parent to relocate. Reasons for relocating include an offer for a new job opportunity or to start a new relationship. The Court will consider the parent’s desire to move and weigh this against the best interests of the child.

What if your ex-partner relocates with the children without your permission?

If your ex-partner has relocated with the child and has not obtained your permission first, you should urgently see a lawyer, so you can take action to have your child returned to you.

To have your child returned to you, you should instruct a lawyer to file for a Recovery Order. The Recovery Order will allow police to intervene, if necessary, and assist in returning your child to you. To read more about Recovery Orders, click here.

What to do?

If you’re worried about your former spouse relocating with your child, or you’re considering relocating with your child, contact us on 8391 8411 to book a free 30-minute consultation with us to discuss what steps you should take next.