Relocating my Child Interstate or Internationally – What the Family Law in Australia says about relocation

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While a Family Court cannot interfere with a parent’s right to move freely, they do have the power to say when and if a child can be relocated with the parent.

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA, July 22, 2020 / — Following separation, it is not uncommon for one party of the relationship to want to pack up and relocate. There are many reasons that lead to a parent wanting to relocate interstate or even internationally, whether it be because of their job, a subsequent relationship, or a need for financial or emotional support.

While a Family Court cannot interfere with a parent’s right to move freely, they do have the power to say when and if a child can be relocated with the parent.

Recently, Unified Lawyers were successful in acting for the father of a child, who was opposing the mother’s Application to relocate the child of the relationship from Sydney to Melbourne.

In our case, the mother sought to relocate the child to Melbourne, during the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to allow her the opportunity to move in with her subsequent partner.

While there are no specific provisions in the Act stating that a parent cannot relocate with their child, without consent of the other parent, there is a presumption that both parents will have equal shared parental responsibility.

Therefore, it is presumed that both parents will share in determining any major long-term decisions for the child, such as the relocation of a child interstate or internationally.

Similar to any other parenting matter, when considering a relocation case, the Court must consider the best interests of the child as its primary consideration.

It is important to note that in determining what is in a child’s best interest, the Court will always have significant regard to the benefit the child would gain from having a meaningful relationship with both of their parents.

Accordingly, they will consider what impact the decision to relocate a child interstate or internationally is going to have on the practicality of a child maintaining their relationship with the other parent.

It was said in the leading case of Morgan v Miles [2007] FamCA 1230 [80] that:
“the child’s best interests must be weighed and balanced with the ‘right’ of the proposed relocating parent’s freedom of movement.”

Succeeding in our case, the Court accepted our submissions that the child had maintained a significant relationship with the Father since their birth and that the relocation to Melbourne would hinder this relationship and therefore cause detriment to the child.

Accordingly, while the mother had the right to relocate to be with her partner, the child’s best interest was best served living with the father and spending time with the mother once a month.

In determining what Orders to make for the child to spend time with the mother, the Court had to make reference to the current Covid-19 pandemic and travel restrictions in order to consider what was the best arrangement.

Given these times are unprecedented and the health guidelines and travel restrictions are constantly changing, it is important to make sure you put the strongest case forward on how any relocation is in the best interests of the children. In this current climate, this would be a high threshold to pass.

If you are, or your ex-partner is considering relocating interstate or internationally with the children of the relationship, make you sure you speak to a family law solicitor about your rights and how the Court approaches relocation matters.

Our family law team at Unified Lawyers are experienced in relocation Applications and can give you advice as to the likely prospects of success of any Application.

You can contact our friendly team of family lawyers on 1300 667 461 for your free case evaluation today.

Dominic Nguyen
Unified Lawyers
+61 415 741 444
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Source: EIN Presswire