Child Relocation – FAQ

May 25, 2016 – at 3:55 am – by Bodekers Family Lawyers

Can I relocate with my child, without my abusive partner?

If you want to relocate with your child, without your abusive partner, you may need permission.

The court will consider what is in the best interests of the child.

Are a child’s wishes relevant in relocation matters?

The weight a child’s wishes are given in family law matters may depend on their age.

What should I consider for a short distance relocation with my child?

You may first consider any parenting orders which might apply to you.

In determining the effects of relocating, you might also consider the impact it could have on the other parent’s ability to spend time with the child and the impact it will have on the child attending school and their extracurricular activities.

What should I consider for a long distance relocation with my child?

The effect an interstate or overseas relocation may have on a child’s day to day routine and ability to spend time with the other parent will likely be much greater than only moving a couple of suburbs away.

Changes will be magnified and the child’s ability to spend time with friends and non-immediate family members may cease completely.

What effects might relocation have on my child?

The interests that may be affected by relocation could include:

  • Ability to spend time with the other parent
  • The school which they attend
  • Any extracurricular activities they participate in
  • Their friends and extended family
  • Having a stable day to day routine

What might the court consider in a relocation matter?

The court will make a decision based on the child’s best interests.

In addition to the changes to the child’s routine, the court may consider;

  • The parent’s status as primary caregiver
  • The child’s age
  • The child’s wishes
  • The cost and convenience for either parent in facilitating spending time with their child
  • Any court orders already in place

Can I get my child back from overseas?

You may be able to recover your child if they have been wrongfully removed or detained overseas.

When might a child’s removal/retention be wrongful?

Under the Hague Convention, a child’s removal or retention is wrongful if:

  • The child was under 16
  • The child habitually resides in a convention country immediately before the removal
  • The person seeking the child’s return has rights of custody in relation to the child
  • The child’s removal was in breach of those rights of custody
  • The person was, or would have, exercised those rights had the child not been removed

Do I need permission to relocate with our child?

Yes. You should always attempt to get permission from the other parent before relocating with your child, especially if you are going interstate or overseas.

Once you have permission, you may get a court order to make it official. This can be done with a Form 11 Application for Consent Orders.

What happens if I relocate with our child without permission?

Legal action may be taken against you, resulting in a long, stressful process and high costs, even if you are successful.

If unsuccessful, the court may order the return of the child and could have an impact on your ability to spend time with your child in the future.

What can I do if my partner wants to relocate with our child interstate?

If your partner is planning to relocate with your child, without you, you should seek family law advice immediately.

It may be possible to get an injunction stopping them from removing the child from their residence.

What can I do if my partner wants to relocate with our child overseas?

If your partner is planning to relocate with your child, without you, you should seek family law advice immediately.

It may be possible to get an order by the court requiring the child’s passport to be handed over.

Can I move interstate with our child?

A court may allow a parent to relocate with their child if it is satisfied that it will be in the child’s best interests.

Does Aboriginal heritage mean anything in relocation matters?

When making orders for relocation of a child, the court may consider their cultural heritage and a parent’s ability to expose to, and educate the child about it.

Family law matters can be complex. We therefore recommend you seek legal advice from one of our Perth family lawyers. We invite you to discuss your particular matter with our Legal Practitioner Director, Ms. Shannon Bodeker.

Prior to your first appointment, you may send us an email, fax or similar, outlining your situation in as much detail as you like. This information will be read on a complimentary basis prior to your first family law appointment. For more information regarding our free services please look at our child relocation free pre read page. 

Email our Legal Practitioner Director, Shannon Bodeker at shannon@bodekers.com.au, for your complimentary pre-read and first appointment at a reduced rate.