Modern society often provides parents with employment or residential opportunities where one parent prefers to relocate some distance from the other parent. Quite often, this move is with a new partner, which escalates the emotions.
The starting point is for the parents to agree for one of them to move. If this is not agreed by the parties, a Court Order must be sought to allow the parent to relocate the children. The Court realises that parents should be able to move and get on with their lives, however, the children still have the right to have both parents take an active role in their daily lives. Often this cannot happen if the children are moved a considerable distance from one parent.
Matters the Court takes into account are the current relationship between the children and the parents, and the extent that the move would affect that relationship. The distance and the impact on the amount of time the child will spend with the other parent, means of communication after the move and financial circumstances of parents to facilitate travel arrangements.
Each case will be determined on its individual facts, however the burden placed on the child in relation to any proposed move, and the ability of the children to maintain a relationship with both parents will be paramount.
It is for the parent seeking to relocate to establish that the move is in the best interests of the children, which is often a difficult task if the move precludes the other parent continuing to be involved in the day to day activities of the children, for example school, sport and recreational/cultural activities.
This is an important issue which warrants legal advice.
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This is intended for general information and does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Formal legal advice should be sought.