What happens if you have children with a partner you are now separated from and your partner wants to move and take your children with them?
The Family Law lawyers at SV Law are regularly consulted by parents who have concerns regarding their former partner’s plans to relocate with the children of the relationship.
Even if the parent seeking the move has sole custody and/or primary care of the children, there are several factors that the courts will consider before granting the move.
Moving with your child following a separation: key considerations
In any matter involving the care of minor children, the children’s best interests are given foremost importance. This means that, if a parent seeks to move with the children, all circumstances surrounding the move will be considered in order to determine if the children's best interests are being served.
Parents should, be strongly cautioned against seeking to move with the sole intention of disrupting the other parent’s access.
Similarly, moving without the consent of the other parent, or a Court Order, can result in a judge ordering the relocating parent back to the jurisdiction they moved from for resolution of the custody, access, and residency issues.
There are many factors which will be considered and, ultimately, the court’s decision will be based on each individual scenario combined with the best interests of the children involved.
Generally, if the children's lives can be minimally disrupted, the court may rule in favour of the proposed move.
- A move that would greatly disrupt the existing access schedule may not be granted, particularly if the other parent is very involved in the lives of the children.
- Factors such as changing schools, travel time, and the availability of extracurricular activities are also considered.
- Economic advantages or disadvantages arising from the proposed move will also be taken into consideration.
- Courts have been more likely to allow a move when the children have a clear primary caregiver as opposed to a shared parenting regime.
The parent who moves may be required to bear the costs associated with maintaining the access schedule. This may include assuming responsibility for exchanging the children or a reduction in child support to cover the access parent’s costs of maintaining the existing parenting schedule.
If you are concerned about your former partner moving with your children, you should contact a lawyer for specific advice on the particular circumstances of your case.
The Family Law Practice Group at SV Law has a team of skilled and experienced lawyers who would be happy to assist you. Make sure to get in touch.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstance.