Relocation family law includes a custodial parent relocating with a child. A custodial parent is a parent with whom the child lives. There will be hardships when it comes to relocating especially for the non-custodial parent. Consequently, relocation in family law makes co-parenting difficult. Relocation in family law may also cause disputes as it affects custody rights and visitation schedules.
This usually happens when there is no agreement between both parents. The Family Law Act 1975 ensures that a child enjoys a meaningful relationship with their parents. Additionally, this Act urges couples to attempt family dispute resolution to resolve conflicts. This article will discuss relocation in family law and how it affects child custody.
Relocation in Family Law: Relocation And Divorce
Can you relocate a child to a different state after divorce? It depends. If you have legitimate reasons for moving, you will have to obtain a judge’s permission. Then, the judge will consider many factors and decide whether relocation in family law is possible for you.
When approved, this turns into a court order. Court orders are decisions or judgements issued by a court. Ignoring court orders can result in significant consequences. To reiterate, courts will decide whether child custody relocation is in the child’s best interests.
If not, the court will require the custodial parent to remain in the state or transfer custody to the other parent. Child custody relocation in family law varies greatly from state to state, especially when it comes to the following:
- Requirements for child relocation
- What notices must be provided
- Whether there are consent requirements
Can you move out of state during a divorce proceeding? Maybe. The courts make decisions based on what is in the child’s best interests. This usually requires both parents to live in the same state with shared parenting time. Moreover, this helps ensure a child’s intact relationship with both parents.
However, courts may allow a parent to move out of state if it is within the child’s best interests. Filing a motion with the court and getting approval can help in child relocation in family law. It’s also important to note that the state where the divorce was filed will handle custody decisions.
Expressing Consent For Relocation in Family Law
Several states only allow child custody relocation if there is a custody agreement in place. Importantly, the custody agreement must contain a provision allowing relocation and a proposed visitation schedule. This typically takes place during the original custody hearings and is included in a clause in the child custody plan.
Meanwhile, other states have laws that address the requirements for relocation. Some states usually require a custodial parent to give written notice to the non-custodial parent for intended relocation. For instance, 30, 60, or 90 days in advance for the intended relocation. Furthermore, some states require the non-custodial parent to either consent or object to the relocation.
Non-custodial parents can do this by filing a motion seeking the prevention of the relocation. Finally, some states allow a child custody relocation based on distance. For example, if the new location is over a hundred miles away, the court may deny relocation. This applies even if the relocation is within the same state.
Custodial parents may limit their children from living or spending time with the non-custodial parent or other significant people. The court can issue a relocation order to prevent the custodial parent from doing this. Importantly, custodial parents seeking child relocation should talk to the other parent.
Both parties may be able to reach an agreement on visitation schedules. If successful, both parties can enter into a written parenting plan or apply for consent orders at the court. Courts may require a relocating parent to return if they don’t have the other party’s consent.
Moving with relocation orders in place may breach the order. Thus, the other parent may apply to enforce the order. Section 70NFA of the Family Law Act outlines the violation of orders affecting children. The relocating parent can ask the court for a relocation order. On the other hand, the other parent can ask for an order to stop the child’s relocation.
Relocation in family law requires good reasons from the moving parent. These reasons must be in the child’s best interests. The court will be less likely to agree on relocation if the location is far away. This is because contact with the other parent is likely to be much less frequent. Courts will balance the rights of the relocating parent with the:
- Child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents
- Protection of the child from physical, emotional, and psychological harm
- Child’s views
- Nature of the child’s relationship with the parents and other family relatives
- Parent’s willingness to enable and encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
- How moving away will likely affect or effect the child’s circumstances
- Maturity, sex, lifestyle, and background of the parents and the child
- Relevant information that the court considers.
A parent wishing to take a child overseas requires the other parent’s consent. Additionally, a child can receive a passport with the written consent of the parents who have responsibility for the child. A parent planning an overseas holiday also requires the other parent’s consent.
Parties with parental responsibility who give written consent can successfully lodge a passport application. Failure to do so requires you to make a written request to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Similarly, parents can also apply to the court for an order permitting a child to travel overseas.
Knowing More About Relocation in Family Law With JB Solicitors
As mentioned, relocation in family law varies from state to state and can be stressful when dealt with alone. JB Solicitors will walk you through the complex path of relocation with our jargon-free legal advice.
Our seasoned lawyers can help you draft parenting orders that will cater to your needs as a parent. We also have mediation services for parents who want to come to an agreement about parenting arrangements. Additionally, mediation is a cost-effective way than going to costly court proceedings.
Send us a message to learn more about relocation in family law