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Family Law Blog

When a parent is intent on moving with the kids

When you and your spouse made the decision your marriage was no longer working and you decided to divorce, it was most likely that the best interests of your children were paramount to both of you. Children thrive with stability and routine, yet there are times when one parent -- for whatever reasons -- believes that moving away is the best solution to his or her personal situation.

But where will that move leave the children? What happens when you or your former spouse wants to move away? How will this decision impact the lives of your kids? First off, the parent who wants to move -- or to relocate -- has to give the other at least 60 days notice in writing. It doesn't matter if the move is with the children or not. That notice also goes to anyone with whom the kids have contact by way of a court order or an agreement.

The court may excuse you or your former spouse from giving notice under certain conditions:

  • If giving that information could put you or your kids in a potentially violent situation
  • If neither you nor your former spouse have an ongoing relationship with the children

What happens if one of you disagrees with the move?

The court asks that you sincerely try to work out your differences when it comes to the issue of a parent seeking to relocate. If, however, there is no reaching a consensus, the laws require a handful of specific items when relocating with children:

  • The individual who disagrees with the move has 30 days to file an objection. If the person doesn't file that objection with the court, the one planning the move with the kids is free to do so.
  • If the person disagreeing with the move has regular contact with the children, the court might order changes to a contact agreement. In other words, the court may say the kids can't move.
  • The court will want to know the reasons for the move.
  • Will the move be in the best interests of the children? The court will want to see that the move will improve the children's quality of life.

Finding assistance for these difficult challenges

These kinds of contentious family law issues may be difficult to iron out. Many variables are at play when it comes to relocating with a child. Obtaining guidance and support from a British Columbia lawyer can help increase parents' odds of being able to move with their children or to prevent their children from being relocated in situations where it may not be in the children's best interests to do so.

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