Ask a Lawyer – “How does the new Divorce Act change my ability to relocate with my child?”

Under the new Divorce Act, divorced parents (or parents in the middle of divorce proceedings) are subject to different requirements when they want to relocate.

First, the term ‘relocation’ has a legal meaning that is more than merely moving. Relocation in a family law context is a change in the child’s residence that is likely to have a significant impact on their relationship with someone (usually one or both parents) who currently has/is pursuing parenting time or decision-making responsibility concerning the child.

If a child spends the vast majority of their time with the relocating parent, and the other parent opposes the relocation, the opposing parent must prove that relocation would not be in the child’s best interests.

On the other hand, if the child spends substantially equal time with both parents, the parent who wants to relocate has to prove that relocation would be in their child’s best interests.

In the context of relocation, there are specific things that a court will consider when determining a child’s best interests. For example: the reason for the relocation, the impact on the child, and the reasonableness of the relocating parent’s plans concerning parenting time and decision-making responsibility.  

If you have any questions about relocation, other family law issues, or any type of legal problem, please contact us.

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