Relocating after divorce – can I take my child with me?
Your divorce is finalised. You want a fresh start. Can you take your children and relocate?
When you are considering moving with your child/children to another place, whether it is a town, state or even country, you as their parent, need to consider if the move will limit their time with the other parent or another significant figure such as siblings, grandparents, aunts/uncles etc. Your first stop is to talk to the other parent.
There may be several reasons why you need to relocate with the children. Perhaps you have no support network in your area, or no employment opportunities or perhaps even your new partner lives/works elsewhere. If you have joint parental responsibility with your former partner you need to talk about relocation with them first.
It may be that if you talk to the other parent they would be agreeable, especially if you offer some sort of compromise like longer time in the school holidays with the other parent or perhaps the other parent is willing to also relocate. Maybe you will need some help coming to an agreement, mediation would be helpful in that instance. If you can agree that arrangement should be written down in the form of a parenting plan.
If there can be no agreement reached you will need to consider applying to the Family Court to make an order allowing you and the children to move. The Court’s paramount duty is to ordering what is in the best interests of the children. The court will consider the potential impacts the proposed relocation would have on the relationship for the child and the child’s network such as their friends and family.
In the alternate, you have been notified by the other parent that they are intending on relocating and you do not agree, you will need to verbalise your objection in writing. If the other parent has already relocated with the child, despite your written objection, the Court may order the return of the child.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact Bale Boshev to book an appointment with Ellie on 02 4969 1522.
Ellie Sumner – Solicitor
Ellie practises in family law, wills and estate matters and has spent the last three years working in the North West and Newcastle and Hunter regions.
Ellie also has experience in worker’s compensation and personal injury.
Ellie makes regular appearances in the Family and Federal Circuit Courts of NSW at Newcastle