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What if one parent wants to relocate?

It is not at all uncommon for one (or both parents) to wish to relocate after a separation. These cases can be difficult to resolve with fairness to all parties involved because their very nature means a significant change to existing arrangements about children.

If considering relocation legal advice is essential. If one parent relocates without the other parent’s consent the Court has the power to order a child’s return if it considers that to be in the child’s best interests.

Whilst the Family Law Courts have ruled that relocation cases are not a separate type of case, in determining the best interests of a child, the following are a list of factors that may be considered. This list is by no means exhaustive as each case will be assessed individually according to the circumstances involved.

  • The steps that have been taken to ensure regular contact with the other parent
  • Each parent's attitude to the other parent – e.g. where there is evidence of an unwillingness on one parent’s behalf to facilitate the child's relationship with the other parent this can weighed against them
  • The willingness of others (e.g. extended family, parent’s new partners) to facilitate the child's relationship with the other parent
  • The relationship the child has with siblings, half-siblings or other family members and how that would be affected by the proposed relocation
  • The child's age
  • The ease of travel between the residence of each parent
What if one parent wants to relocate?  :  Last Revised: Fri May 30th 2014
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.