You are required to obtain the consent of the other parent if a relocation of children is on the cards and you intend to relocate to a location which would make regular, meaningful time between the children and the other parent substantially more difficult.
There is no specific distance you are permitted to relocate with the children without consent of the other parent.
Rather, each case is determined on its own merits.
Therefore, to be safe, we recommend that you put the other party on notice of your intention to relocate and if the other party does not consent, obtain prompt legal advice about whether the distance you wish to relocate to is such that you need the consent of the other party, or otherwise, you will need to obtain consent from the court in order to relocate the residence of your children.
If you unilaterally relocate the children’s residence without consent of the other parent you may be ordered by the court to return the children to the location you relocated from.
However, this is not always the case and it depends on the individual facts of your case.
When a court is asked to determine whether you should be required to return the children to the location from which they came, the children’s best interests is always the paramount consideration, but it is not the only consideration.
In the case of Franklyn, the Mother’s unilateral relocation was allowed on appeal.
Case Study: Franklyn  FamCAFC 256
In Franklyn, an order had been made in the Federal Circuit Court that the Mother, who had unilaterally relocated the parties four year old child from New South Wales to Queensland, return with the child, enabling the child to spend time hours each Saturday with the Father.
The Background of the case was that upon separation the mother had little or no contact with the father for seven months due to the mother’s concealment of her address and a family violence order obtained by her.
That order was ultimately discharged.
On the father’s application, an interim order was made with his consent to him having two hours a fortnight with the child at a contact centre. Four months later, the father filed an application for variation of that interim order. At the hearing of that application, the mother disclosed that she had already relocated with the child to Queensland.
After a two month adjournment the Father and the ICL sought an order that the mother return to NSW and that the Father have unsupervised time and that if the Mother failed to relocate, the child live with him.
On Appeal, the Full Court said:
“while the children’s interests are paramount their interests are not the sole determinant of parenting orders under Part VII of the Act (AMS v AIF ; U v U ). Parents enjoy as much freedom to live where they please as is compatible with their obligations pertaining to the children. Only when the children’s welfare would be adversely affected must a parent’s right to freedom of mobility defer to the paramount consideration of the children’s best interests.
When the Mother relocated with the children from central west NSW to south-eastern Queensland, she did so in the knowledge she would still need to adhere to the interim parenting orders made in may 2018 requiring her to present the children to the father at a contact centre in Town H, NSW once every fortnight..”
Want more information on relocation of children?
Click the link to check out our relocation page for more information.
Are you considering relocating your children’s residence?
Contact us today to book a reduced rate consultation to have a confidential discussion about your rights and we will assist you to formulate a strategy to achieve your relocation goals.