Circumstances When A Parent is Able To Relocate Child: 6 Important Factors Considered
The decision to relocate with a child within Australia involves various legal considerations and processes. Here’s an overview of the factors influencing such moves and the importance of seeking legal advice from a child custody lawyer.
Legal Requirements for Relocation
When moving a child outside of Australia, the consent of the other parent or a Family Law Court Order is necessary to do so legally. Taking a child overseas without parental consent can have legal repercussions. However, moving within Australia can also be somewhat restrictive.
Communication and Agreements
While relocation within Australia may be permissible, giving advance notice and engaging in discussions with the other parent is advisable. Parents are typically expected to discuss the child’s welfare and living arrangements before making significant changes. Counseling and mediation with an approved mediator are recommended if an agreement cannot be reached. If mediation fails, either party can resort to a Court Application.
Factors Considered in Relocating a Child
The circumstances under which a parent may be able to relocate a child are determined by the Family Law Act 1975 and relevant case law. The specific factors considered include:
· Best interests of the child: The primary consideration is the child’s best interests, including their need for a meaningful relationship with both parents, protection from harm, and the benefits of stability and continuity in their lives.
· Consent of the other parent: If both parents agree to the relocation, it can simplify the process. However, it is advisable to obtain a written agreement and seek legal advice to ensure it is enforceable.
· Reason for relocation: The relocating parent must demonstrate a genuine and reasonable reason for the move, such as better job opportunities, educational benefits, or improved quality of life for the child.
· Impact on the child’s relationship with the other parent: The court assesses the potential impact of the relocation on the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent and considers whether suitable arrangements can be made to maintain meaningful contact.
· Mediation and court involvement: If the other parent objects to the relocation or an agreement cannot be reached, mediation may be required. If mediation fails, either parent can apply to the court for a parenting order regarding the relocation.
It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the court will consider the specific circumstances and evidence presented. Seeking legal advice from a family law practitioner experienced in Australian law is crucial to understanding how these factors apply to your particular situation.
Relocating Within the Same City
Relocating within the same city can also have legal implications, especially if a shared parenting order exists. Shared parenting arrangements work best when parents live in close proximity.
Moving to a different suburb can significantly impact schooling, social interactions, and extracurricular activities.
Legal Processes and Initiating Court Applications
If the other parent does not agree to the move, it is recommended that you instruct a lawyer to initiate a Court Application seeking permission for the relocation.
Taking the proactive role of an applicant, providing proper notice to the other parent, is preferable to being a respondent to a recovery order application issued by the other parent.
Example of a Relocation Case
Helen, a nurse, shared custody of her children with her ex-husband and had just received news of her relocation to Canada as part of her job.
While Helen has good reasons to relocate a child, she was concerned about her children’s well-being. Hence she sought our assistance to understand her legal options.
We helped Helen communicate early with the other parent.
We attempted mediation with her ex-husband. We explained the importance of maintaining open communication with her ex-husband and recommended exploring alternative custody arrangements to accommodate the distance. We came up with an arrangement where she could go to Canada with the child, and the child would spend large amounts of school holidays in Australia with the father.
We provided Helen with legal advice in developing a comprehensive parenting plan considering logistical challenges while ensuring that legal procedures were followed. Helen successfully relocated to the new country with her child.
Relocation Has Legal Considerations
Relocating with a child within Australia or out of the country involves legal considerations and processes that vary based on the destination and the circumstances.
Obtaining consent or court orders is crucial, and engaging in discussions and mediation with the other parent is encouraged.
Seeking legal advice from experienced family lawyers is essential to navigating the complexities and ensuring compliance with the law.