Thinking about relocation?

Relocation is legally complex. It's not something you want to go alone without getting some legal help. We can help you today.

Thinking about relocating your children?


Matters involving the relocation of a child are probably one of the most difficult for the Court to decide. In relation to relocation specifically, the Family Law Act does not set out specific provisions which consider relocation.

Accordingly, in these matters the court tends to apply a similar approach in considering parenting matters generally and that is firstly and foremostly ensure that any decision is predicated on what is in the best interests of the child. This is one of the court’s primary considerations.

There are two primary considerations:

The benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the child‘s parents.

This requires the Court to consider whether the proposed relocation will impede the child’s ability to maintain a relationship with the non-relocating parent. The effect is compounded where the proposed relocation is an overseas one. If such a move is permitted to take place then the relocating parent will inevitably assume a greater role and presence in a child’s life. Conversely, contact between the child and the non-relocating parent will become less frequent and less regular. Their relationship may suffer because of distance and difficulties in communication and organising direct contact. As a result, one or other of the parents will understandably feel aggrieved whatever the Court decides.

The need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence.

This is relevant if the relocating parent can show that it is best for the child to live far from the non-relocating parent to protect them particularly in instances of past abuse toward the child from a parent.

The child’s best interests remain the paramount consideration, but they are not the sole consideration.

The court takes into consideration other matters, including the child’s views and factors which might affect those views, the reasons behind why the parent wants to relocate and the willingness of both parents to make it work.

There are numerous other factors that the court will consider and its best to seek legal advice if you are considering relocation or responding to such an application.

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