CHILD RELOCATION / RECOVERY MATTERS – Some Important Factors
- Any risks relocating or not relocating might present to the child (is the relocation proposed in order to prevent the child from being exposed to a risk of harm in the original location?).
- The reason for the relocation (is it for economic reasons such as a job opportunity, is a transfer mandated by an employer (such as an ADF posting), is it to escape an abusive ex-partner, is it to get some family support?).
- Whether the relocation is 100% necessary (is there an alternative, or a sensible compromise that can be reached?).
- Nature of the relationship between the child and parents, and how the relocation will impact upon those relationships (is there a strong connection between the parent who has not moved and the child that will be hindered by the move?).
- Nature of the relationship between the child and significant persons, such as siblings and extended family members, and how the relocation will impact upon those relationships (is there a strong connection between the child and his/her extended family who has not moved that will be hindered by the move?).
- Whether the parent who has relocated, or who is proposing to relocate is likely to do everything possible to facilitate the child’s relationship with the other parent (this requires consideration of whether, historically speaking, the parent wishing to move has facilitated the relationship, and of whether the parents have co-parented effectively).
- What practical issues may arise if relocation is permitted when it comes to facilitating the child’s relationship with the other parent (distance apart? cost of travel? how can cost of travel be paid? phone contact? work rosters?).
- How familiar the child is with the new / proposed new location, and how familiar the child is with the original location.
- Amenities for the child in the new / proposed new location -v- amenities for the child in the original location.
- Child’s age (younger children, such as infants, may be less affected by a change than older children, such as those who have attended school in the original location for a long time).
- Child’s health, ambitions and characteristics (a child who has severe, dust induced asthma may be better off living away from a dusty town for instance).
- Is it reasonably practicable for the parent wishing to relocate to remain in the original location (do they have a source of accommodation, income, support et cetera?).
- Would it benefit the child if both parents moved to the new location, and if so, is that possible?
This list was compiled by Townsville Family Lawyer, Kyle Barram on 23 June 2016.