Relocating with or without your child is not as simple as packing your bags and leaving. Relocation cases are some of the most difficult cases to predict how a Court will decide, as ultimately, the consideration for the court is whether the relocation is in the child’s best interests. The court will consider a variety of factors, including the reasons for relocation and the impact of the relocation on the child.
How Does the Process of Child Relocation Work?
- You Must Give Notice
As mandated by Section 16.9 of the Divorce Act, if you are relocating, you must provide a Notice of Relocation Form at least 60 days before your expected moving date to any other person who has parenting time, decision-making responsibility, or contact under a contact order, in respect of that child.
You must provide specific details about the move in the notice Form, including when the expected move will take place, the new address, the contact information, and a proposal as to how parenting time, decision-making responsibility or contact, as the case may be, could be exercised.
- Allow the Other Party to Respond
After you have provided notice, the other party may, within 30 days, object to the child’s relocation using the Objection to Relocation Form or by issuing a court application opposing the relocation
If the other party does not object: If they do not object within 30 days, and if there are no court orders in place that forbid relocation, you are allowed to relocate the child on the date provided in the Notice Form
If the other party objects: If the other party objects to you relocating with the child, the next step is to issue an application in court requesting permission to relocate the child. The primary question the court will ask is: what is in the best interests of the child?
Will Your Application to Relocate Be Successful?
A court may or may not grant relocation, especially if the effect of the move results in minimizing the time the child will spend with the other parent.
In deciding whether the relocation is in the best interests of a child, the court will consider specific additional factors relating to relocation. Some of these factors are:
- The reason for the relocation and effects of the relocation on the child;
- The involvement and parenting time that each person has with the child;
- Whether the relocating person has provided the notice; and
- Whether the proposal to change the parenting plan is reasonable.
As the departing parent, you will be more likely to succeed with the proposed move if you can establish the following points:
- The decision to relocate was made in good faith;
- You have proposed a reasonable plan to preserve the relationship between the child and the child’s other guardian(s)/parent;
- Your reasons for relocation are relevant to your ability to meet the child’s necessities.
Contact Gelman & Associates Today!
Before even contemplating the relocation, we recommend that you seek legal assistance. Our experienced team will defend the best interests of your child and assist you in creating a comprehensive case for relocation.
To discuss any aspect of child relocation, contact our team of family lawyers at Gelman & Associates. Call us directly at (416) 736-0200 or toll-free at 1-844-736-0200 to book your initial free consultation.