Mobility and Relocation
Some of the most seemingly impossible choices faced by separating parents have to do with relocation.
After separation, one of the most important needs of children is stability, including continued regular contact with both parents. However, adults have all sorts of legitimate reasons to move, including jobs, education, romantic relationships and a desire to move closer to extended family.
At Calgary Family Law Associates, we are often contacted by parents wanting to know if they need their former spouse’s permission to move, or if there is anything they can do to stop their former spouse from moving away with the children. Sometimes, these questions begin even before the children are born, if the relationship ends before birth and the mother wants to move far away.
Moving pits one parent’s right to move on with his or her life versus the other parent’s need to stay in contact with the children. It also affects the children’s need to stay in contact with both parents.
A Heart-Wrenching Choice
When dealing with parent relocation, our lawyers have the training and experience to help you through this seemingly impossible situation. We can find creative solutions, whether you are the parent who wishes to relocate or the parent who wishes to stay.
We will help you negotiate, taking into consideration:
- The existing parenting arrangement
- The existing relationship between the child and each parent, and the child’s preferences, especially as he or she grows older
- Any disruption to the child, especially if the move involves changing schools and losing touch with extended family and friends
- The reason for the move, if it may impact the custodial parent’s ability to parent
- Travel costs and possible changes to child and/or spousal support to reflect these costs
If you are moving, it can be very easy for the other parent to feel threatened if he or she is not involved in the decision-making process. Even if you are the sole guardian or have sole custody, it is better to involve the other parent so that he or she does not feel that he or she will be losing all contact. Otherwise, the other parent could apply to the court for custody, stating that it is no longer in the child’s best interest to live with you.