Child relocation involves the changing of a child’s living arrangements and is one of the most important concerns in a relationship breakdown. International relocation is becoming an increasingly common occurrence, with many people and families moving across the globe for business, opportunities and lifestyle changes. If parents have equal and shared parental responsibility of the children, the following factors in relation to child relocation must be considered.
The Family Law Act 1975 (NSW)
Disagreements on child relocation matters in a family law context can often lead to intervention by solicitors and the court system. Whilst freedom of movement is an accepted right, different principles apply for children and the removal of a child from a country, state or area that is significantly distant from the other parent.
The relevant section of the Family Law Act is section 65DAA. This provision explains the process the court is required to follow in determining if a child should spend equal time or a substantial and significant time with each parent. The definition of ‘substantial and significant time’ in the Act is time that involves the parent in the child’s daily routine and significant occasions for both the parent and child.
Factors taken into consideration
The first consideration which is taken into to account is whether the decision for relocation is in best interests of the child. Secondly, whether it is reasonably practicable for the child to spend equal time or significant and meaningful time with the each parent, and how the time that they currently spend with that parent would be affected by the relocation.
It is generally advised that relocation of a child should not occur until the consent is obtained from the non-resident parent. If consent cannot be obtained, then it is appropriate to seek the Court’s intervention on this issue.
Etheringtons Solicitors have recently acted in several complex child relocation matters, and in each we have achieved successful outcomes for our clients. If you are currently in the situation where you are thinking about relocating, whether that be interstate, or to another continent and require advice on a child relocation issue, do not hesitate to contact us on 9963 9800 or via the contact form here.