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Family Law in Canberra – Relocation and Family Law – how do the courts determine when a parent is allowed to relocate with a child?

By September 25, 2014No Comments

By Angela Li

A Mother of a 2 year child recently won an appeal in the Family Court against an order which prevented her from relocating from Perth to a town in Pilbara. The Father in the case was living in Perth, and had sought an order preventing the child from moving to Pilbara with the Mother, so he could continue spending time with the child.

The case was important in demonstrating that relocation cases are very complex, and involves the courts considering a range of factors under the Family Law Act to decide if a proposed relocation is in the child’s best interests.

In that case, it was important for the court to take into account the fact that the child wouldn’t be able to maintain a meaningful relationship with the Father in Perth if the child was allowed to move to Pilbara. However, maintaining a meaningful relationship with the parent being left behind is one of many factors that the court will weigh up.

Ultimately, the orders that were made by the trial judge were set aside, and the case was remitted for hearing. To read the full judgment in that case, please click here:

If you are a parent and wanting to move to another town, state or country with your child, you should first try to talk to the other parent. If you reach agreement, it is best to document this agreement, and preferably apply to the court for consent orders. If you cannot agree, you should apply to a court for a relocation order to allow you to move. As with all parenting cases, the court must consider the best interests of the child, which requires consideration of a range of factors under the Family Law Act. If you leave with your child without the consent of your Ex, you may be ordered by the court to return with the child.

If you are a parent and your Ex wants to take your child to another place, you can apply for an order to stop the relocation of your child, or if they have already left, apply for a recovery order. If you are concerned about your Ex taking the child overseas without your permission, you should seek urgent legal advice.

Parenting cases are complex, and each case is determined on its own facts. Whether you are ultimately successful either as a parent seeking to relocate or a parent preventing relocation will depend on the quality of your evidence and how you present your case. Come and talk to one of our solicitors for comprehensive, cost effective and realistic advice on your prospects – call Alliance Family Law on 6223 2400


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