The breakdown of a relationship is already a difficult time for all parties involved. However, this process can be exacerbated if one parent wishes to relocate with their children.
Relocation is where one parent seeks to move their children away from the other parent, usually relocating a significant distance away.
In Australia, parents are assumed to have an equal shared responsibility for their children which includes where the child lives. The Family Law Act requires parents to come to a mutual agreement regarding the living arrangements of their children and both parents must approve to the proposed relocation before a parent can move a child away.
If parents can reach a mutual agreement, arrangements for the relocation of the children can be made however if parents do not agree, the moving parent must obtain a Court Order to relocate the children.
If your former partner has already moved away with your children, you can apply to the Family Court for a Recovery Order to have the children returned. In any case, the Court will consider the best interest of the child before making any Order.
What happens if the child is ‘unborn’?
Relocation can become complicated if a pregnant mother wishes to move away from the father of the child.
A recent decision regarding recovery of an unborn child has confirmed that the Family Court does not have the power or jurisdiction to make a Recovery Order for an unborn child. If your former partner has moved away with your unborn child, you can try and speak to them in order to reach an agreement but unfortunately if your negotiations fail, you cannot stop them from moving away. However, once the child is born it absorbs all the rights of the Family Law Act and you can apply to the Family Court for a Recovery Order.
Relocation is a significantly controversial area of family law and must be dealt with great care however a good family lawyer can make a huge difference. To find out more, Contact Kydon Segal Lawyers today.