Following separation or divorce some parents wish to move on with their lives and this may involve relocating to a new area.

Relocating Children

It is expected that you will seek the permission of the other parent prior to relocating. If the other parent does not agree you will need to apply to the Court for the Court's permission to relocate.

We recommend that you think through exactly what will happen in your new proposed place of residence so that you can satisfy the Court that you have made adequate arrangements for the children's housing, education and the like. Also you will need to show the Court that you have made proper arrangements for contact to the other parent so that they are not deprived of time with the children.

As with all parenting matters, the court will look at what is in the best interests of the children but the court will also give proper weight to the wishes of the parent and also their circumstances.

Child Abduction

If children are wrongfully removed within Australia, you can make an "Application for a Location and Recovery Order" on an urgent basis to the Family Court.

Hague Convention

Many children are wrongfully removed from Australia each year. If they are removed to a country that is a party to the "Hague Convention on the International Abduction of Children" there are effective procedures by which parents may ensure that the children are returned to Australia.

The Hague Convention generally seeks to ensure that children remain in the country they are habitually resident. The Central Authority (a division of the Department of Community Services) usually assists parties with these types of Applications.

But if children are wrongfully removed to a country not a party to the Hague Convention it is more complicated to have them returned. You will need to contact your lawyer to discuss the best way forward.