26th October 2017
If you have separated from your children’s parent and you intend to move away with the children, this is known as ‘relocation’.
The first step in attempting to relocate with your children is always to negotiate with the other party. Attending a mediation or dispute resolution service may assist you in coming to an agreement that everyone can be happy with. Perhaps the children could spend extended school holiday time with the other parent, or perhaps they would be willing to relocate as well. Whatever the conditions of relocation, it is always better to negotiate the move rather than make the decision unilaterally.
If you are able to reach an agreement, you should enter into a written parenting plan or apply to the Court for Consent Orders. This formalises the agreement and provides certainty not only for both parents, but also for the children.
If you cannot come to an agreement, it may be necessary to apply to the Court for an order allowing you to move. In considering whether or not to make an Application for relocation, the best interests of the children and their welfare will be the Court’s paramount consideration. Generally speaking, the further one parent intends to move with the children, the less likely the Court will consider it is in the best interests of the children. This is because the further and more removed the children are from one parent, the less likely they will be able to maintain contact and a meaningful relationship.
If you move without the Court’s consent then the other party can apply to have you return with the children. This is known as a Recovery Order and will usually be granted while the matter is determined on a final basis.
If you or your children’s other parent are considering relocation, or if you’re struggling to reach an agreement, contact us so that we may assist you.