Relocation Orders, your right to move forward.

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What is a Relocation Order?

Relocation Orders involve the Family Court’s decision to either prevent or permit a parent and child from moving to another city, interstate, or overseas, away from the other parent. Obtaining Relocation Orders can be challenging, especially when the relocation affects current custody or visitation arrangements. If one parent relocates without the consent of the other, the latter may apply to the court for a Recovery Order compelling the child’s return. Such Orders are granted based on the court’s assessment of the child’s best interests.

Moving interstate with children after separation

It’s not unusual for parents to consider relocating after a separation. Relocation becomes less contentious when it does not disrupt existing or proposed arrangements for the children. If you or your ex-partner are contemplating relocation, obtaining legal advice is crucial. We recommend securing the other parent’s consent and a Court Order authorizing the relocation before proceeding. If permission is not granted, Stanley & Co Lawyers is here to assist by applying to the Court on your behalf.

Applying for Relocation Orders

Engaging in family dispute resolution is generally a prerequisite before applying for parenting orders related to relocation. This process aims to achieve a mutually agreeable solution. Although the Family Law Court does not treat relocation matters as a separate case type, the child’s best interests are paramount in evaluations. The assessment involves various factors, tailored to each unique case:

  1. Motivations for Relocation: Reasons such as job opportunities, starting anew with a partner, seeking family support, or escaping family violence are scrutinised in light of how they serve the child’s best interests.
  2. Maintaining Contact with the Non-moving Parent: Plans to ensure the child remains in touch with the non-relocating parent, whether through regular phone calls, visits during holidays, or even the possibility of the other parent moving closer.
  3. Travel Feasibility Between Parents: How easily can the child travel between the two parents’ residences?
  4. Parental Attitude Towards Each Other: The court considers each parent’s willingness to support the child’s relationship with the other parent. A lack of cooperation can negatively affect the case.
  5. Support from Extended Family: The willingness of extended family and new partners to uphold the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent.
  6. Impact on Relationships with Family Members: The effect of the move on the child’s connections with siblings, half-siblings, and other relatives.
  7. Child’s Age and Preferences: The child’s wishes, especially as they get older, can play a role in the court’s decision-making.

The family lawyers at Stanley & Co, understand the complexities involved in relocation mattes and are committed to providing you with the guidance and representation needed to apply for these orders. Whether it’s negotiating with the other parent or representing your interests in court, our goal is to facilitate a solution that respects everyone’s rights and is in the best interests of the child. Contact Stanley & Co Lawyers today to schedule a free first interview with one of our experienced family lawyers.

Helpful Questions & Answers

International Travel and Preventing Overseas Relocation

For parents wishing to travel internationally with their children, obtaining the other parent’s consent is necessary for passport issuance. Detailed travel plans and communication strategies should be shared well in advance. In cases of disagreement, legal pathways are available to request passport issuance under special circumstances or to apply for court orders permitting international travel, always with the child’s best interests as the guiding principle.

To safeguard against unauthorized overseas relocation, parents can lodge a Child Alert Request or apply for court orders to prevent passport issuance and place the child’s name on the Airport Watch List, ensuring their inability to leave the country without further legal review.

When Should I Consider Applying for a Relocation Order?

You should consider applying for a Relocation Order if you wish to move with your child in a way that would significantly change the current living arrangements or the ability of the other parent to spend time with the child. Early legal advice is crucial to navigate the complexities involved.

Can I Relocate Without a Relocation Order?

Relocating without a court order or the other parent’s consent may lead to legal complications, including the possibility of a court order to return the child (recovery orders). It’s highly recommended to seek legal resolution and consent before making significant relocation decisions.

What if the Other Parent Opposes the Relocation?

If the other parent opposes the relocation, the matter will likely proceed to court, where both parents will have the opportunity to present their case. Our team is skilled in negotiation and litigation, aiming to reach a resolution that respects your rights and the best interests of your child.

What Happens if I've Already Relocated Without Permission?

If you’ve moved without the necessary consent or court order, it’s crucial to seek legal advice immediately. The court may order the return of the child to their previous location until a final decision is made. Our family lawyers can assist in negotiating a resolution or representing you in court if needed.

Self Help Resources

For more information about travelling with your child(ren) overseas, see the Children and international travel after family separation fact sheet.

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