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I want to move with my child. Am I allowed?

I want to move with my child.  Am I allowed?

Kerry Ktenas, Associate, summarises this issue by citing two recent decisions.

When a parent seeks to relocate their child to another region, state or country and there is no agreement for the child to relocate, they must make an application to the Court for an order permitting them to do so.

Whilst all parents have a right to freedom of movement, the paramount consideration of whether to permit (or refuse) the proposed relocation of a child is considering whether it is in the child’s best interests to move.

Relocating Interstate 

In Hamady & Mansour [2022], the mother sought to relocate with the parties’ two-year-old child from Sydney to Melbourne.  She argued that she had no support in Sydney and had to rely on the father for financial assistance, whereas all of her family were in Melbourne who could support her.  Evidence was also provided to the Court that whilst it would be preferable for the child to remain in Sydney, their relationship with the father would not be adversely impacted by a relocation. Having regard to those factors, Orders were made to permit the relocation in 18 months’ time and, in the interim, for the father to spend substantial time with the child.

Relocating Overseas

In Denham & Newsham [2021], the mother sought to move with the parties’ three-year-old child to Belgium to be with her parents.  At first instance, Orders were made permitting the mother to relocate the child after March 2022.  The father successfully appealed the decision on the basis that the trial judge failed to take in to account the practical difficulties in the father being able to travel to Belgium to spend time with the child, particularly in the context of ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions.

If you would like to discuss your options to relocate with your child, or to prevent a proposed relocation, our highly experienced team can assist.

Call us today on (03) 8602 2000.

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