“That’s it – I’m taking the kids and moving interstate”
We are noticing a rise in separations this year. It seems with the self-isolation requirements we have been subjected to, many of the issues that couples were experiencing and/or lying below the surface have now risen to the top and are boiling over.
If you are one of the many persons facing separation and contemplating relocating with your children, here are some tips to help make the process smoother:
Start planning the move and consider the following:
- Where will you be moving to?
- Where will you live or who will you live with?
- Do you have a job to go to?
- What school will the children go to?
- Can the other parent relocate as well (if this is what you want)?
- When and how will the other parent be able to see the children?
Develop a proposal for the other parent to spend time with the children and be specific:
- E.g. the children will spend time with the other parent for one week in each of the short school holidays and one half of the long school holidays;
- Hand over will take place at a named location;
- Name the parent who will be responsible for the children’s travel costs;
- Provide details of other times that the other parent can communicate with the child via Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger or other methods of communication.
Record your agreement in writing:
- It is not uncommon for one of the parents to experience a ‘change of heart’ after he or she has agreed to allowing the children to relocate to another State, particularly if the adults’ relationship deteriorates further. In that case, the parent who no longer has the children can commence proceedings to have the children returned to them.
- You may choose to prepare an agreement between you and the other parent. If you do not obtain the advice of a solicitor, the agreement may not be legally binding on either of you.
- The better option is to document the agreement by way of Consent Orders sealed by the Court. A Court is usually reluctant to set aside consent orders particularly in circumstances where one of the parties has had a change of heart.
If you are unable to reach agreement:
- If you are the parent who is hoping to move, you ought to commence proceedings fairly quickly. You will need to ensure that you have a really good reason for wanting to relocate and that you have covered off all of the points set out above in the planning stage as a bare minimum.
- If proceedings are commenced, the Court is unlikely to prioritise your matter simply because you are hoping to relocate. It could take quite some time for the Court to make a decision allowing you to relocate and, depending on how strong your case is, may not make those orders at all. The Court will always make orders that are in the ‘best interests’ of the children.
- If you are the parent who is staying behind and are worried that the other parent is planning to relocate without your agreement, you ought to commence proceedings urgently to restrain the other parent from relocating the children.
- Let’s be clear – the Court doesn’t care if one of the parents relocates. It only becomes concerned if the parent is planning to relocate with the children and no agreement has been reached.
If you are considering relocating with your children or you are worried that your partner is planning to relocate with your children without your consent, you ought to get in touch with Bambrick Legal urgently.
Free initial consultations are available for a limited time only.
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