Relocating With Your Child After Separation Or Divorce

Relocating With Your Child After Separation Or Divorce - Resolve Conflict Family Lawyers

In today’s multicultural and mobile society it’s not uncommon for people to move cities, towns, states and countries for work, family support and to seek out reduced living expenses.

If you are a separated or divorced parent wanting to relocate with your child there are a few factors you need to consider before making your move.

Firstly, if your child primarily lives with you and you need or wish to relocate, you need to speak to the child’s other parent and receive permission.

If you are unable to reach an amicable decision between yourselves you can try mediation and come to an agreement through Family Dispute Resolution or you can apply to the Courts and the decision will be made for you.

Reaching an agreement out of Court

Both parents agreeing on a child’s relocation can be very difficult and it is not uncommon for parents to seek external help to resolve the issue.

Participating in Family Dispute Resolution may assist you in reaching an agreement in regards to your relocation. If an agreement is made, it is best to enter into a written parenting plan or apply to the Family Court for consent orders before you move.

Related Article: When can my child decide who they want to live with?

Court orders

If an agreement is not able to be made, either parent can ask the Court for a relocation order, be it the parenting wishing to relocate with the child or the parent wanting to stop the relocation.

The relocating parent must show the Court good reason as to why the relocation order will be in the best interest of the child. The further you wish to move away, the less likely that the Court will agree that it is in the best interest of the child, as contact with the other parent is likely to be much less frequent.

As the Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia has said “Relocation cases are not a problem that can be solved, but rather a dilemma for which there is no solution.”  Though it is a difficult dilemma the Court will still make a decision and balance the rights of the relocating parent with the following considerations, while bearing in mind that the final decision must be what is in the best interests of the child:

  • the child’s interests in having a meaningful relationship with both parents
  • protecting the child from physiological or psychological harm or from being subjected to or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence
  • the child’s views
  • the nature of the child’s relationship with the parents, and others such as grandparents
  • whether the parents are willing and able to facilitate and encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • how the changes are likely to effect the child’s circumstances
  • maturity, sex, lifestyle and background of the parents and the child
  • any incidences of family violence
  • anything else the court considers is relevant.

If you are considering relocating with your children or have been told that your former spouse is considering relocating with the children, we suggest that you speak to one of our solicitors before proceeding any further.

Note: This is general information advice only and does not constitute specific legal advice. If you would like further information in relation to this matter or other legal matters, please contact us on 03 9620 0088 or email

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