Upon separation, you may choose to move to another town and moving with the child will become an issue. If your ex-spouse opposes the move, you will be involved in BC Child Relocation or Mobility Litigation. Our relocation lawyers know that this means you have to prove to the court that it is to the best interests of your child to move – not yours. This is not that easy to prove because moving is your decision and often to your best interest, not always of your child’s. It might mean that your spouse’s parenting time with your child would be curtailed or harmed if you moved.
What you Need to Know to When Moving with the Child
The new BC Family Law Act says that the parent moving with the child needs to:
- Give the other parent at least a 60 days’ written notice of moving with the child; and
- provide the name of the proposed location of the move.
If the other parent or guardian objects to the BC child relocation, he or she must:
- Give written notice of objection to moving with the child within 30 days; and
- File an Application with the court to prevent moving with the child.
If the objection notice is not given, the relocating parent is free to move with the child.
If Anyone Objects to Moving with the Child, You Must Go to Court
The BC Family Law Act says that the court must decide whether it is to the best interests of the child to move. The relocating parent must satisfy the court that:
- the proposed BC child relocation decision is made in good faith;
- relocating guardian has proposed reasonable and workable arrangements to preserve the relationship between the child and the child’s other guardians, persons who are entitled to contact with the child, and other persons who have a significant role in the child’s life, and
- If the parents have substantially equal parenting time with the child, the relocating guardian must go further and satisfy the court that given the following factors, the child relocation would be best for the child:
- the child’s health and emotional well-being;
- the child’s views, unless it would be inappropriate to consider them;
- the nature and strength of the relationships between the child and significant persons in the child’s life;
- the history of the child’s care;
- the child’s need for stability, given the child’s age and stage of development;
- the ability of each person who is a guardian… to exercise his or her responsibilities;
- the impact of any family violence on the child’s safety…
- the appropriateness of an arrangement that would require the child’s guardians to cooperate on issues affecting the child..
- any civil or criminal proceeding relevant to the child’s safety, security or well-being
- The reasons for the proposed relocation
- Whether the proposed relocation is likely to enhance the general quality of life of the child.
Showing Good Faith When Moving with the Child
The Family Law Act says that you must show good faith in relocating with the child. This means you can’t move just because you want to get away from your ex-spouse or the father/mother of the child.
Good faith is defined as follows:
- the reasons for the proposed relocation;
- whether the proposed relocation is likely to enhance the general quality of life of the child and, if applicable, of the relocating guardian, including increasing emotional well-being or financial or educational opportunities;
- whether notice was given of wanting to move with the child;
- any restrictions on relocation contained in a written agreement or an order.
BC Child Relocation cases are extremely complicated, time consuming and sometimes heart-breaking. If you are facing your ex-spouse wanting to relocate with your children or you want to relocate with your children, call our award-winning family lawyers at 604-974-9529 or get in touch.
The content of this page was updated in February, 2017 for more comprehensiveness, freshness and accuracy.