WHAT IS A RELOCATION?

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Although not many people are familiar with the term, this is a real issue that can affect many parents around Australia. We understand as relocation when the parent in charge of the children moves them to a new address where contact arrangements and time that they are supposed to spend with the other parent are more difficult to fulfil. It is worth noting that a relocation may mean that the other parent will have to travel a greater distance, interstate and even overseas in some cases to be able to see his or her children. Considering the large territory that Australia has, this may increase travel times a lot and affect week schedules importantly.

The problem is deeper than that. In big cities, such as Melbourne and Sydney, even moves in the same city can be considered a critical issue since they can easily mean 50 kilometres of distance at least and traffic can turn it into a 2 or 3 hours’ journey.

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WHEN CAN A RELOCATION TAKE PLACE?

Probably the most worrying case of relocation is when it turns into an international relocation which can create important and very substantial changes in the arrangements set for children contact. This issue will create a varied range of conditions such as increasing the cost of having to travel to another country, extra expenses on accommodation and, how often will your partner or will you be able to do this? (depending on who is the parent with the custody)

In 9 of every 10 times, one of the parents is planning to relocate the children, the other one applies to the Court to prevent relocation. According to recent statistics, only 50% of the relocation cases presented in court have succeeded in the last decade so it can be said that decisions in courts are balanced. It is important for you to understand that regardless of your intentions courts will hear your case considering best interests of the child and preferring what is more beneficial for your children.

WHAT FACTORS CAN AFFECT A RELOCATION?

If you are thinking about relocating with your children or if your partner is looking to move with them to another place, these are some of the aspects that you need to know will affect the decision that will be taken in court:

  • The existing arrangements between you and your partner.
  • The age of the child or children that would be relocated.
  • What kind of conditions will the children face as they get older?

In most cases, parents need to give a certain number of reasons why they want to relocate since there are principal issues that the other parents must face.

WHAT IF THE OTHER PARENT RELOCATES UNEXPECTEDLY?

There are some cases when the parent relocates at all costs, sometimes not even giving notice to the other parent and leaving no room for discussion. If you are facing one of these cases, then it is a good option to fight the case strongly since there are great chances of winning it. Most Courts take the action of an arbitrary relocation as a very negative sign in the other parent’s behaviour since there are very clear actions that need to be taken for this type of decisions.

The most recommendable thing to do if you want to relocate is to discuss it with your partner, carefully, and explaining that it is for your children’s wellbeing. If you need to take it to the court, then we will be happy to provide you with top assistance, so your case can be solved quickly and successfully.

MY CHILD HAS BEEN RELOCATED ARBITRARILY, WHAT CAN I DO?

You can apply to the Court for a Recovery Order, so the other parent will have to return your child to where they normally live. These are some of the things that a Recovery Order will enable:

  • Once the Court grants the Recovery Order, polices are enabled to take action and return a child to the place where they were before the relocation.
  • A Recovery Order also works to prohibit the parent from trying to relocate the children once again in the future.
  • Not paying attention to a Recovery Order and trying to take possession of the child again is considered illegal and can make the parent lose their right to spend time with the child.
  • The request for a Recovery Order must be submitted to the Federal Circuit Court. They will either grant or refuse the application.
  • Any decision regarding the Recovery Order will be done considering the best interest of the child.

Applying for a recovery order tends to rise many doubts amongst parents, you should not let the procedure overwhelm you, here at VIC Family Lawyers we are here to help you and protect your interests while we work towards the most beneficial outcome.

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