The term 'relocation' is used to describe circumstances when one parent either wishes to, or has, permanently moved a child from their locality. Such a move may be a only short distance away, such as within the same State, or moves of greater distance, such as interstate and international moves to another country.
Separated parents who are considering relocating should obtain legal advice immediately.
Similarly, if the other party is considering relocating the children, we urge our clients to immediately obtain legal advice, as time may be a critical element in such a matter. Often, it is a much simpler course to prevent relocation, rather than trying to persuade a Court to return the children after a move has taken place. This is further made problematic if no action was taken when a party had been aware of the other party's proposed move.
The Family Court of Australia and the Family Court of Western Australia have power to order that children be returned to their previous locations if they have been moved without the other parent's consent. The Court cannot restrain parents from moving, but they have the power to make Orders preventing a child from being moved. The Court will consider the child's best interests in determining what Order to make and, accordingly, the circumstances of each particular case are considered.
In the event that both parents are in agreement about a proposed relocation and the subsequent arrangements for the children to spend time with each of the parties, this should then be formalized by way of a Parenting Plan or a Consent Order. Perth Family Lawyers are able to assist our clients with negotiations in attempts to reach agreements, as well as drafting and formalizing matters where agreement is reached.
In the event the parties are unable to agree in relation to a relocation, Perth Family Lawyers are able to assist with the initiating of an Application in the Family Court of Western Australia seeking Orders to permit the relocation of the children.
Parties should obtain legal advice about their personal circumstances and the best way to move forward in respect of relocation issues, whether they have reached agreement or not.
At Perth Family Lawyers, we have extensive experience in dealing with relocation cases. If you require advice in relation to relocation, please contact our offices to make an appointment with one of our experienced solicitors.