saraRelocation is a term used in family law proceedings when one parent wants to change where they live and take the children with them. For the Court to determine whether the children can move with that parent to a location sometimes hundreds of kilometers away from the other parent, the Court needs to consider many issues. One of the primary considerations that they take into account is whether the children can still continue to have a meaningful relationship with the other parent.

The recent decision of Lorreck & Watts [2012] FamCAFC 75 is one such case whereby the mother wanted to move from Canberra to Cairns and the Court had to determine whether this would be in the best interests of the children.

There were two children from the marriage aged 10 years and 5 years. The children lived with the mother and spent time with their father. Both the mother and father were born and raised in Queensland and their family and friends were still living there. The father was employed by the Australian Defence Force and throughout the course of the relationship the family moved many times to different locations across Australia.

When the marriage ended, the mother sought to move back to Cairns with the children to have the support of her family and friends. The father sought that the children live with him in Canberra should the mother move away.

At the first hearing of the matter, the Federal Magistrate confirmed that the mother’s case for moving was strong and there were many advantages for the children should they move. The only reason why the Federal Magistrate did not make Orders allowing the children to move was due to concerns that the youngest child would not be able to continue to have a meaningful relationship with the father.

The mother did not agree with this decision and sought a further hearing of the matter regarding evidence that was presented to the Court stating that the child would cope.  The Court subsequently read the evidence of the psychologists and psychiatrists that was presented in the first case. After considering all of the evidence of the mother and the father, the Court determined that the Federal Magistrate had not taken this into account and subsequently permitted the children to move to Cairns.

If you wish to relocate or the other parent seeks to relocate you should seek legal advice from Everingham Solomons because we have the experience and expertise to assist you because Helping You is Our Business.

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