If you are concerned that your children have been or might be removed from their current residence without your knowledge or consent, it is important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible. While there is no particular section in the Family Law Act 1975 which specifically addresses relocation/recovery proceedings, there is a body of case law which provides guidance to lawyers and judges as to the principles of law that must be applied.
What is a relocation or recovery dispute?
Relocation or recovery issues arise when one parent wants to relocate with the children and the other parent does not agree. Relocation could be to another city or town within an Australian state, another state, or even to another country.
How are relocation/recovery disputes resolved?
If the children are to be relocated with one parent, this could have a profound impact on the quality of the relationship the children are able to continue with the parent who is left behind. For this reason, the courts take relocation matters very seriously and the relocating parent must persuade the court on the balance of probabilities that it is in the best interest of the child or children to move to the new location.
These disputes can become highly emotionally charged as both parents can have compelling reasons for wanting to leave with the children or wanting the children to stay. The court must be presented with evidence which will demonstrate the impact such a move might have on the children’s relationship with each of the parents, and on their welfare.
Sometimes a parent may decide to take the children away from their familiar environment without the consent or knowledge of the other parent. Depending upon the circumstances, the court’s response to such conduct can be swift and severe. If our client is in the unfortunate situation of having had the other party remove the children from their city or state, then depending upon their instructions and the circumstances we would immediately prepare an application for the recovery of the child or children.
Please don’t hesitate to ask one of our solicitors if you have any queries about the relocation of children.