Pamela Cominos, Lawyer
for SingleMum.com.au | 28 April 2012
Sometime a few hours away from the other parent, sometimes interstate and sometimes even overseas and nothing causes parents more grief than this scenario.
Often and unfortunately with separation and divorce comes a lower standard of living and income than was the case when couples pooled their financial resources. One party may also wish to move back closer to original family networks and support to assist with the new circumstances.
Under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) "FLA" there is no specific section that refers to relocation and as such the subject of relocation causes great difficulty for parents and legal practitioners.
Guidance on relocation matters can be found in the cases known as A v A: Relocation Approach (2000) FLC, AMS V AIF and AIF v AMS (1999) 199 CLR 160 and U and U (2002) FLC 93-112.
The amendments to the Family Law Act in 2006, known as the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) emphasises the importance of a child having the benefit of both their parents being involved in a meaningful way in their lives subject to protecting the child from family violence and/or being exposed to family violence.
The amendments also focus upon each parent fulfilling their duties and meeting their responsibilities, concerning the care, welfare and development of their child/ren.
In light of the above objectives, an application for relocation is not an easy application. Nevertheless an application for relocation as a parenting order does remain open to any parent who may wish to relocate. Success or otherwise, will depend on many factors and it is of course strongly suggested by the writer to obtain legal advice before one embarks on any application involving children and parenting arrangements.
Any parent seeking to relocate must at the very least provide the court with the benefits for the child of relocating and consider detailed arrangements/options for the child spending time if relocation is permitted, with the non-relocating parent, whether that be face to face, telephone, email, Skype. It is of course prudent to inform the court of the current parent arrangements and the strength or otherwise of the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent.
Any person seeking to relocate with a child, is strongly advised to seek independent legal advice and the information provided in this article is of a general nature and cannot be applied to individual and specific circumstances.
28 April 2012
M.A Dip Ed LLB (UNSW)
Principal Family Lawyer – Cominos Lawyers
This article contains only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. Read the full Singlemum.com.au Disclaimer here
Pamela Cominos is the Principal Family Lawyer at Cominos Lawyers, Sydney who specialise in all aspects of Family Law.Pamela holds a Masters of Arts degree together with a Bachelor of Laws Degree from University of New South Wales.