Child Relocation Under the Family Law Western Australia
Child relocation is also one of the common scenarios in a dissolution of a marriage or de facto relationship. Moving a child to a different town, state, or country is defined as relocation. If such movement is going to limit the time a child spends with one of the parents in a divorce or separation, the Family Court may not allow such actions. Child relocation should be discussed with the other party and agreed upon, or if not amicable agreed then brought before the Family Court.
Reaching an Agreement on Child Relocation
The parents can reach an agreement about where the child or children will primarily reside and where they spend time with the other parent normally during their school holidays or vacations. In the event of a relocation, your former partner may also be moved to a town or new city and you may intend to relocate too.
Attending a Dispute Resolution may help both parties reach an agreement. The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia use dispute resolution services because they are an affordable and quick option in resolving family disputes.
Can’t Agree About the Child Relocation?
There are also circumstances wherein the parents do not agree with the relocation of their child. Such actions will require you to apply for a Family Court Order allowing you to move with the child. The Family Court may or may not grant your application to relocate with the Child. The Family Court will always consider the best interest and welfare of the child when making any decision that impacts the life of the child.
Relocating without the consent of the Family Court or your partner may require you to return the child until a parenting order is made. If a Family Court Order is breached, the other parent can apply a petition against the other to enforce the current Family Court Order. This may lead to Police involvement by way of a recovery order for the child.
Family Court litigation becomes the only option when there is no way to arrive at an amicable agreement. In such cases, it may take many months for the issue to be resolved. Feel free to call our office to speak to a Family Lawyer who can help you with this.
The Family Law in Child Relocation Cases
The Family Law Act of 1975 and the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (“the Hague Convention”) are often applied in child relocation or abduction matters. The Hague Convention has been in force in Australia since 1 January 1987 and has played a significant part in Australian international relocation matters since.
In child relocation cases before the Family Court, the Family Court considers and evaluates the child’s best interests. This includes considering whether it is in the child’s best interests to spend time with each parent without regard to the relocation proposal. The Family Court will then evaluate the proposals of each of the parties. Any relocation proposal will have to be balanced against the option of “equal” or “substantial and significant” time with either parent if either has been found to be in the child’s best interest. Further, consideration will include whether the proposal is “reasonably practicable” if relocation is permitted.
It would be advisable to seek legal assistance from a Family Law lawyer to be able to arrive at the best option for you and your child. A Family Court Lawyer may also be able to help you and your ex-partner arrive at an amicable agreement without having to resort to an application to the Family Court.