Family Law

Relocation of Children

Your obligations for the custody of your children

When you and your ex-spouse have shared parental responsibility, you cannot relocate or travel overseas with your children without first obtaining written consent from your ex-spouse, or a child custody order from the court allowing you to do so.

Moving a long distance away from the other parent means sharing time with your children will be difficult. If an agreement over where to live cannot be reached, the matter may need to be taken to court.

When you want to relocate

If you take your children outside of Australia without permission, you could be committing a criminal offence. Both parents' consent is needed for your child to obtain a passport. Australia has an agreement with many countries (called the Hague Convention) that requires these countries to send the children back to Australia if they are taken without the required permission.

If you want to relocate within Australia, the distance you relocate must be in accordance with the parenting agreement you have in place. Otherwise, permission must be obtained from the other parent and the courts. If you have no formal agreements or court orders in place, you will not be breaching any orders, however it may not be in the best interest of the child for you to relocate. In this instance, the court will make a decision.

When your ex-spouse wants to relocate

If your ex-spouse wants to relocate and you do not agree with their decision, or it means spending time with your children will become more difficult, the matter may need to be taken to court. Again, the best interests of the child will be given priority.

Our lawyers will advise you on the most appropriate course of action for your situation to create the best possible outcome for all involved.

Concerned about the custody of your children?

Get tailored advice for your circumstances. Call us on (02) 8843 1343 or send a message via our contact page.