My husband and I have split up and I want to move away with the children, is this possible?

You may have thought about moving to a new city or country during your relationship, but what happens when one parent decides to move (whether to another town, interstate or overseas) and wants to take the children with them?

In legal terms this is known as relocation and depending on the circumstances, may not be something that the Court allows.

Parenting Plan

Ideally, both parents are able to amicably agree on a solution together. If this is something you and your ex can do, you should have your agreement executed by way of a Parenting Plan, or apply to the Family Court for Consent Orders. Note that Parenting Plans can’t be enforced by the Court, but Consent Orders can be.

Can’t Reach An Agreement? – What Happens?

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your ex, the relocating parent may choose to apply to the Court for permission to move. It will then be up to the judge to decide what is in the ‘best interests of the child’, which is the Court’s paramount concern. For example, if moving will impact one parent’s ability to have a meaningful relationship with the child, the Court may not allow the child to move.

What Is A Relocation Clause?

If you are worried about your ex moving without discussing it with you first, and you are currently negotiating Consent Orders, we suggest considering a relocation clause within your Orders. If either parent then moves the children without consent, the other can apply to have the clause enforced. In situations like this, the Court may require the return of the children until such time as an outcome is reached.

Stefania Scarcella
Law Graduate Paralegal, LLB