Relocation order application for children is an important topic under family law. A parent makes a relocation order application when they seek to move away to another location. This could be either for financial reasons, or for family support.
A relocation order by a Family Court will either allow a parent, or deny a parent from moving away with the child/ren. The parent who seeks to relocate will make the relocation order application. While doing so, the parent will have to show that relocating will be in the best interests of the child.
Section 60CC of the Family Law Act (1975) outlines the best interests of the child. The Family Court makes all orders by considering the best interests of the child/ren.
If the other parent (the one who is not relocating) wishes to stop the relocation, they will need to ask for a court order as well. Notably, an important consideration under the best interests principle is that the child should have a meaningful relationship with both parents.
Therefore, the other parent who wishes to stop the relocation can argue on the grounds that they will be prevented from having a good relationship with their child. But, if the relocation is necessary for well-being of the child, the court will grant the order.
Importantly, approaching the Court will not be necessary if both parties are able to reach an agreement about this issue. Parties can make an application for consent order to formalise the arrangement once they agree for relocation. If this does not work, the parties will need to make applications for Court orders.
Relocation Order Application: Things You Need
Before making a relocation order application, you will need to gather some documents and information. To start with, the parent making the relocation order application should consider the questions given below:
- What are the reasons for relocations?
- Are there existing court orders regarding residency of child/ren?
- Will the relocation be temporary or permanent?
- Educational and health-related arrangements that will be made for the child in case of relocation?
- Any risk of domestic or family violence which is preventing the parent making the relocation order application from discussing matters with the other parent?
Generally, the farther the parent has decided to relocate, the less likely it is that the court will grant the order. This is because the contact with the other parent will reduce and be less frequent. As the court gives utmost importance to the best interests of the child, it is unlikely that the court will grant this order.
The Courts make following considerations after receiving a relocation order application:
- the child’s interests in having a healthy relationship with both parents;
- the child’s views and opinions;
- how the relocation changes will affect the child’s circumstances;
- the nature of the child’s relationship with the parents and grandparents;
- any incidences of family violence;
- any other consideration which the court thinks is relevant to the case;
- whether each parent is willing to encourage and facilitate the child to have a relationship and meaningful connection with the other parent;
- maturity, lifestyle and background of each parent of the child/ren involved;
- the need to protect the child from all forms of harm and abuse including psychological harm, physical harm, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse.
What If I Don’t Want My Ex-Partner To Relocate To Another Country With My Child?
If a party thinks that their former spouse will relocate with their child/ren and move to another country, there are a few things which they can consider doing. This includes:
- Apply for a Child Alert Request at the Australian Passport Office.
- Apply to the court for a Child Alert Order. However, this order will not precent a child from leaving Australia on a valid passport.
- Contact the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to request them to place the child’s name on the Airport Watch List. In the case that the party agrees for the child to relocate to another country, the party will need to apply for a court order to notify them about the change of heart.
Successful Relocation Order Application
As mentioned above, primary consideration in such cases is given to the best interests of the child. Statistically speaking, the following reasons have proven to be successful when a parent is seeking to make a relocation order application:
- The party has no family support in the place where they are currently residing;
- They are seeking to move to her hometown or another place where he/she will get family support;
- The party is facing severe financial difficulties where she is currently living
- The other parent may not be spending any time, or may be spending very little time with the children
Legal Advice For Families
Regardless of whether you are a parent seeking to make a relocation order application, or if you are a parent seeking to prevent the other party from moving away with the child/ren, legal advice from family lawyers is important.
First, mediation is effective to settle matters regarding relocation. Having an expert mediator’s guidance to help you and your former spouse reach satisfactory outcome is important.
The award-winning mediators at JB Solicitors are committed to helping you achieve your desired outcomes. In extreme scenarios our family lawyers are also well-equipped to deal with all court procedures if there is a need to make relocation applications.
Our family lawyers have a wealth of experience in dealing with all cases related to divorce and separation. Their drive to help the community keeps them motivated to help each family. Because the circumstances of each family differ, family law is more complicated. This is why having tailored-advice suited to your specific case is of utmost importance.
Contact our friendly team of solicitors for more information and advice.