“Can you relocate after a separation?” is a question I hear fairly often from my clients.

It’s not uncommon for parents to want to relocate after a separation or divorce.

There are many reasons why a parent would want to relocate after a separation or divorce – family support, work opportunities or, even, a new relationship.

But what are the legal issues around relocation after a separation or divorce?

Can You Relocate After a Separation?

Depending on your circumstances, relocating after a separation or divorce may be possible.

However, a number of issues need to be considered (and, preferably discussed between the parents) before any arrangements are made.

Parental Responsibility

Parental responsibility involves making decisions about your children’s long-term care, welfare, and development.

The best way forward is to speak to your ex and discuss the situation and the possible implications for the children of moving, whether it’s a suburb, a city, a state or a country.

Moving to a new place usually means a change in schools for your children. You need to make sure you and your ex are both agreed on any other decisions that may arise following a change in living arrangements and location.

Relocation Decision

A relocation decision refers to changing the place where the child normally lives.

Taking your child away on holiday does not fall within this definition.

Relocation decisions can have a big impact on children and their routines. Depending where the children might be moving, it may become more difficult for the other parent to maintain contact with them.

These are things that need to be considered before deciding to move children.

Parenting Orders

Where Parenting Orders are already in place, there may be strict restrictions about taking children away from their habitual residence, either temporarily or permanently.

If there is a Parenting Order in place that gives you sole parental responsibility, you may not have to consult with the other parent regarding where children live.

However, you should always check to see if you have obligations regarding the time that children are to spend with the other parent, or how they can communicate with the other parent. Relocation may result in a breach of these conditions.

If you’re going through a separation or divorce, you can come to an amicable arrangement with your ex through family mediation.

Living arrangements for your children can form part of the family mediation process and you can achieve agreements which can become legally binding.

And all without having to fight it out in the courts.

Speak to Ian at Move On Mediation in Perth today for a no-obligation and confidential chat about your circumstances.