Moving is an inevitable reality that most everyone will have to contend with at some point. There are a lot of things you need to consider when you move, but a move is further complicated when are moving with children – especially if you are separated or divorced.
If you want to move with your children and this will impact the other parent’s rights with respect to the child(ren), there is a strong likelihood that the other parent will have something to say about it. Conversely, if your former partner intends to move away with your mutual child(ren), you will likely want to have a say in what happens.
While this type of issue may be resolved between the parents, seeing as moving does not leave much middle ground (you either move, or you do not), arriving at an agreement may be difficult. In the event that an agreement is not possible, the recourse for a moving parent is a “mobility” application in Court. Importantly, no move should be undertaken without consent of the non-moving parent or a Court Order permitting it.
As with most issues in parenting, the best interests of the child(ren) are of paramount importance, and any move should contemplate how the best interests of the children will be impacted. That being said, it is hardly a straight forward analysis to determine whether a move should be permitted. Indeed it can be difficult to determine what is ultimately in the best interests of the child(ren).
The leading Supreme Court case on the subject of mobility, Gordon v Goertz, lays out various factors that should be considered in any mobility application. Some of the relevant directions the Supreme Court gave in this case were that:
Dealing with relocation with the children and specifically mobility applications are very fact specific endeavors. If you have any questions with respect to potential moves with children, please contact one of our family law lawyers.
Michael Dugas is an Associate with Rowanoak Law Office LLP and practices in Family Law.