Aston Legal Group

Case Study

Child Relocation

Cahan & Kafka [2019] FCCA 2421

The case of Cahan & Kafka [2019] FCCA 2421 (30 August 2019) provides an example of where a parent was denied their application to relocate the child to a different city. In this case, the mother received a job offer which would result in a substantial wage increase. However, the job was located in Sydney which would require her to move. Both parents were located in Melbourne.

The Mother's Submissions

The wife submitted to the Court that her new job would provide a significant advancement to her career. She also submitted that it would be impractical for her to live in Melbourne and fly between Sydney and Melbourne regularly. She lastly submitted that she wanted to pursue a relationship with a man in Sydney.

The Father's Submissions

The Husband submitted that if the Mother moved to Sydney with the child, the child would lose regular contact with the Father. If the father regularly visited the child in Sydney, the expenses would significantly increase due to flights and accommodation. Next, in the arrangement that the child alternated between Sydney and Melbourne, the child would spend large amounts of time travelling. Lastly, it would be impractical for the Father to move to Sydney as the Father is quite old and would find it difficult to find a new job. He also has no friends or family in Sydney and does not own any property or have any history in Sydney.

The Law

Section 60CA of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) holds that the best interests of the child are paramount. Additionally, the objects of the Act provides that one of the purposes of the act is to ensure ‘that children have the benefit of both of their parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives’.

The court's Decision

The Court determined that the child was not to move to Sydney. As a result, the Mother would not take the job. The Court reasoned that it was impractical for the Father to fly between cities or for the Father to relocate and start his life afresh. Lastly, if the Mother relocated, the child would not have the same level of involvement and would in effect experience the loss of a Father.

The Next Step

If you would like to discuss relocation or any other parenting matter, contact us on 8391 8411 to book a free 30-minute consultation with us to discuss what steps you should take next.

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