Child Relocation After Divorce

What Is Child Relocation

Child Relocation is the changing of a child’s living arrangements so that it makes it difficult for the child to spend time with both parents.
A relocation order is when the Family Court makes a decision that allows or prevents a child and parent from moving far away from the other parent.

Relocation orders are commonly sought if one parent wants to move to another location due to financial reasons, or for family support.

If parents have equal and shared parental responsibility, they should try and make a genuine effort to resolve this issue amicably.

The relevant legislation is s65DAA of the Family Law Act.

The section explains the step by step process that the Court is required to follow when considering if a child should be spending equal time or substantial and significant time with each parent.

Quick Facts

57% of relocation family law applications were approved with 43% rejected;
There is no general rule of thumb as to whether a relocation family law order will be approved or not;
A successful application to stop a relocation needs to be timely and treated urgently.

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relocation order

Child Relocation Cases Australia

Rosa’s Case stands as one of the leading authorities in Australian Family Law when it comes to the relocation of a child.

A mother initiated an application to relocate to Sydney following her separation from the father of their 5-year-old child.

The young family had recently moved to Mt Isa due to the father’s new job, residing there for only 7 months before the mother expressed her desire to return to Sydney with the child.

The mother’s initial application was unsuccessful in court, but she later won the case on appeal to the High Court.

The initial judge’s decision was that the child should remain in Mount Isa, and that the father’s proposal for shared parental responsibility was in the best interests and welfare of the child.

The Family Consultant also recommended that the child stay in Mount Isa, as it was not considered beneficial for the child if the parents lived so far apart.

The High Court subsequently reviewed the case, considering the mother’s circumstances and whether her relocation to Sydney would provide the best outcome for the child.

In Mount Isa, the mother lived in a caravan park and had limited employment opportunities.

She supported herself through casual employment and Centrelink payments. Living in Mount Isa had left the mother feeling angry and depressed.
In contrast, Sydney offered her work opportunities with flexible hours and access to family support.

The mother’s application for relocation under family law was successful in the High Court, and she was granted relocation orders to move to Sydney.


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    Successful Child Relocation Cases

    his case answers many of the family law questions parents ask us, as it shows us how a court processes information and thinks when making a decision about child relocation.

    The case also explains the circumstances in which a mother is able to relocate a child, even if it means the child will spend less time with the father.

    The court will focus on whether or not the relocation will be in the bests interests of the child.

    A successful relocation case for a mother will normally have the following factors:

    The mother is seeking to move to her hometown or place where she has family support
    The mother has little to no family support in the place where she is currently living
    The mother may have financial difficulty supporting herself where she is living
    The mother may have more financial support or job opportunities in the place where she is seeking to relocate
    The father may have very limited time with the children.

    Relocation Family Law

    Relocation family law matters are run in either the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia.
    You may want to know if a father can take a child from the mother or a mother can take a child from the father.
    Relocation family law is not gender specific. However, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, 88% of parents applying for relocation orders were women

    If one parent can argue that relocating to another suburb or city is in the best interests of the child as the child will have more support, better access to schools, relatives and a better lifestyle, then a family law relocation may be permitted.

    On the other hand, this will need to be weighed up with whether or not the relationship with the other parent will be at a detriment as the child may not be able to spend more time with that parent due to the long distances between them.

    Quick Facts
    57% of relocation family law applications were approved with 43% rejected;
    There is no general rule of thumb as to whether a relocation family law order will be approved or not;
    A successful application to stop a relocation needs to be timely and treated urgently.

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