Can I Relocate With My Children ?

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Once you separate from your partner, you may want to relocate with your children from the area you currently live in. Sometimes this may be to a location in the same part of the state, or interstate or even internationally. There may be a variety of reasons for your proposed relocation including but not limited to being closer to your extended family for support, for employment or career prospects, due to re-partnering or for other reasons such as to get away from a family violence situation.

If you are considering any such relocation, you should obtain legal advice from our Cairns family lawyers before you take any further steps. Not only can we provide you with an obligation free appointment such that you do not make any hasty decision, we can negotiate with your ex-partner to obtain their consent to your relocation of the children’s home, or, if necessary, prepare a court application. Just keep in mind that any such relocation must always be shown to be in the children’s best interests.

If the children’s other parent does not consent to the children relocating with you, then prior to commencing any parenting proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court, the parties must attend a mediation and obtain a certificate confirming that they have made a genuine effort to resolve the issues in dispute. There are exceptions to this legislative requirement which include circumstances of urgency, child abuse or family violence where it is not appropriate for the parties to attend a mediation.

Once you have obtained a mediation certificate, or are eligible to file an affidavit seeking an exemption from filing the mediation certificate, one of our expert Family Law team can assist you in preparing an application seeking an order of the court permitting the children to relocate with you. Usually, this would involve obtaining evidence about the children’s proposed schooling and living arrangements in the new environment, together with evidence about your own proposed employment and reasons for such relocation. For example, you might collate the new school prospectus, School fee and uniform costs, details of accommodation availability and price, an offer from a prospective employer including details of income, and an affidavit from your parents confirming that they will assist you with your relocation costs, initial accommodation and provide support to you for out-of-school care of the children. You may also include with this material details of the travel costs associated with the children returning to your current place of residence to see their other parent and a proposal as to who will pay such travel costs.

There are many reasons as to why a Judge may not allow you to proceed and remove the children from the current location. If you have very young children, this may be because such a move may result in the other parent not being able to maintain a strong bond with the children. It may also be because your reasons for relocating are focused on your own interests rather than the children’s best interests. Alternatively, a Judge may make an order allowing your ex-spouse to relocate with your children away from your residence because you have not taken the opportunity to spend regular time with your children or to be involved decisions regarding your children or to financially support your children. Subject to the age of your children, the court may also place great weight on your children’s wishes to relocate with their other parent.

In order to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your children in these circumstances, please contact our Cairns family lawyers for expert advice on 40520 700 or email

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