Child Relocation Lawyer Melbourne

Relocation, under the Family Law Act, refers to moving children to a new town, city, state, or country.

If you are the relocating parent, and the move will limit the time your child spends with the other parent or other significant people in their life, the court may not give permission via Relocation Orders.

If you plan to relocate with your child and they primarily live with you, it is essential to first talk to the other parent to reach an agreement. You may be able to negotiate longer visitation periods or school holiday stays to facilitate the other parent’s involvement. If you reach an agreement, it is best to enter into a written parenting plan or seek consent orders from the court before you move. Failing to do so can result in a court order to return until the case is considered. If there are existing relocation orders in place, moving may breach the order, and the other parent can apply to enforce the order.

Court Relocation Orders – Legal Assistance for Parents

Either parent can apply to the court for an order. The relocating parent can ask the court for a relocation order, and the other parent can request an order to stop the relocation of the children.

The relocating parent must provide good reasons to the court why the relocation orders will be in the ‘best interests of the child.’ The further away it is intended to move, the less likely it is that the court will agree to the relocation, as contact with the other parent is likely to be less frequent.

The Court will weigh the rights of the relocating parent against the following considerations, bearing in mind that the final decision must be in the best interests of the child:

  • The child’s interests in having a meaningful relationship with both parents
  • Protecting the child from physiological or psychological harm or from being subjected to or exposed to abuse, neglect or family violence
  • The child’s views
  • The nature of the child’s relationship with the parents and others, such as grandparents
  • Whether the parents are willing and able to facilitate and encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • How the changes are likely to affect the child’s circumstances
  • The maturity, sex, lifestyle, and background of the parents and the child
  • Any incidents of family violence
  • Anything else the court considers relevant.

Order Permitting a Child to Travel Internationally – Travelling Overseas with a Child. 

Every time a parent wants to take their child overseas, they must obtain the other parent’s permission. An Australian passport can usually only be issued for a child with written consent from each person with parental responsibility for the child.

If you are planning an overseas trip, it is crucial to inform the other parent (and any other person with parental responsibility) as soon as possible. You should provide full details of your travel plans, including contact numbers.

If all parties with parental responsibility provide written consent, a passport application can be made as usual. If not, you can make a written request to the Approved Senior Officer of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to consider issuing the passport due to special circumstances. If they refuse, you can apply to the Court for an order allowing your child to travel internationally. The Court will only allow international travel if it decides it is in the best interests of the child.

Preventing a Child from Going Overseas

If you are worried that a child may be taken out of the country, you can:

  1. Prevent a passport from being issued for a child by lodging a Child Alert Request at any Australian Passport Office. A child alert is in force for 12 months, and if an application for an Australian passport is received, you will be notified. It does not prevent a child from leaving Australia on a valid passport, nor does it affect a passport being issued by another country.
  2. Apply to the Court for a child alert order. A court-ordered child alert remains in force until the child turns 18 or as directed by the Court. A child alert does not prevent a child from leaving Australia on a valid passport or affect a passport issued by another country.
  3. Apply to the Court for an order requiring a person to deliver a child’s or accompanying adult’s passport to the Court.
  4. Apply for an order preventing a child from leaving Australia. This can include a request that the Australian Federal Police (AFP) place the child’s name on the Airport Watch List. The child’s name will remain on the Airport Watch List until a further order of the Court. If you agree to a child going overseas in the future or plan to take a child out of Australia, you must apply to the Court (before you travel) to remove the child’s name from the Airport Watch List. If you fail to do so, the child will be prevented from leaving, regardless of who they are travelling with. The AFP won’t remove the child from the list without a Court order.

Expert Legal Advice and Representation for Child Relocation Cases

Relocating with a child is a complex and sensitive matter, and legal advice is necessary to ensure the protection of your parental rights and the best interests of your child. At Shane McClure, we have a team of expert child relocation lawyers who will provide you with the necessary legal guidance and representation throughout the relocation process.

We will help you understand the legal requirements for relocating with a child, including the need to obtain a court order, providing written notice to the other parent, and attending a mediation session. We will also assist you in negotiating new co-parenting arrangements, preparing a written parenting plan, or seeking consent orders from the court before you move.

Legal Representation for Noncustodial Parents

If you are a noncustodial parent who is faced with the relocation of your child, it is crucial that you seek immediate legal representation. Time is of the essence in order to secure and protect your parental rights.

Our team will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights as a noncustodial parent are protected. We will assist you in obtaining a recovery order from the court for the return of your child and help you explore alternative solutions.

Contact Shane McClure for Expert Legal Advice on Child Relocation

At Shane McClure, we are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of legal representation and advice. Our team of expert child relocation lawyers will work tirelessly to ensure that your parental rights are protected, and your child’s best interests are prioritized.

If you are a parent considering relocating with your child or a noncustodial parent facing the relocation of your child, contact Shane McClure for expert legal advice and representation.

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