Relocating with Children
Following separation, either parent may wish to move some distance away with the children, either within the state or territory, inter-state or overseas. This is known as “relocation”.
In order to relocate, parents generally require either the consent of the other parent (in writing), or an order of the Court. This is because the relocation will generally make it more difficult for the children to spend time with the non-relocating parent.
If you are unable to agree on the proposed relocation, it may be necessary to apply to the Court for orders permitting you to do so. The Court will make the decision that is in the best interests of your children.
If the other parent has relocated without your consent or a Court order, it is imperative that you act quickly to seek the return of your children (by applying to the Court), as delay may reduce the prospects of this occurring.
Equally, if you suspect that your children are about to be removed from their principal place of residence (i.e. their home), you should seek urgent orders from the Court preventing the other parent from leaving with them.
We can advise you if you wish to relocate or want to prevent relocation.
If your children have been removed from Australia (or retained in another country) without your consent or a Court order, it may be possible to seek their return under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the “Hague Abduction Convention”).
It is critical that you act immediately to seek the return of your children to Australia. If you leave it too long, your children may become settled in their new country, diminishing your chances of recovering them.
Not all countries are party to the Hague Abduction Convention. If your child is taken to a non-party country, you will not be able to use the Convention to seek their return. Accordingly, parents should be cautious about overseas travel plans which include non-party countries.