A common arrangement for children of separated parents is to live with one parent and to visit the other parent regularly.

If one parent wants to move away with the child, they may do so without the consent of the other parent.

‘Child Relocation’ is the change of a child’s living arrangements so that it becomes hard for the child to spend substantial time with both parents.

Unless there is a court order in place preventing a parent from relocating, parents are able to move to another city, interstate or even internationally.

It is the responsibility of the other parent to ensure that they have access to their children by way of family court orders.

If there are no court orders in place, your Sydney family lawyer will file an urgent Recovery Order in the Federal Circuit Court.

In considering whether one parent can relocate the children, the Court takes into account a number of factors.

Firstly and most importantly, the Court will make orders regarding the children’s living arrangements based on what is in the best interests of the children.

They will then need to take into account the effect that on the relationship between the children and the other parent as a result of the change in residence.

The longer the distance the other parent wants to move from the original residence, the harder it is for the children to have a substantial relationship with the other parent.

The Court has to take into account all of these considerations and also the need for the other parent to relocate and move interstate potentially for work or to commence a new relationship.

How To Prevent Child Relocation

The best way to prevent child relocation is to ensure that there are parenting orders in place.

Without parenting orders from the court, your legal options of recovering the child are limited.

Normally, if there are court orders already in place there will be an order in relation to relocation.

If a parent then wants to move outside of the permitted residential zone, they must go to Court to obtain permission.

The Court will grant permission if they are satisfied that moving away from one parent is in the best interests of the child.

You can fight the request to relocate and explain to the court why the child should not be relocated.

What To Do If Your Child Has Relocated

If one parent takes your child without conversing with you, you can apply to the Federal Circuit Court for a Recovery Order.

A recovery order instructs the Police to actively find, recover and return a child to you.

The recovery order can also prohibit the other parent from removing or taking possession of the child again.

If you are found to be in breach of this order, you could be arrested and brought before a court to explain yourself.

Who can apply for a relocation order?

You can apply for a relocation order if you have parental responsibility of the child, or you are concerned with the care & welfare of the child.

For example, you could be living with the child or spending a lot of time with the child with but there are no parenting orders in place that explain this.

Applications for recovery orders can be applied for at the Federal Circuit Court Of Australia.

The Court will determine whether or not they will grant or refuse your application for a recovery order. Having the best family lawyer possible can assist your application as they will understand what points a judge will want to consider before making a recovery order.

The Court will always consider what is in the best interests of the child when determining whether to make a recovery order.


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