When you and your co-parent share access to your children and one of you want to move with or without the children, there are legal obligations to fulfill. A knowledgeable parenting time lawyer such as Paul Riley could explain the duties of a relocating parent and help them comply.
Whether you are the parent intending to move or the parent who will stay behind, a Kawartha Lakes relocation lawyer could help. Reach out as soon as you realize that relocation is on the table and your parenting plan might need to change.
The law distinguishes between a move—a change of address that does not significantly impact the parenting plan—and a relocation. A relocation will affect the parenting plan, whether the parent intends to move with the child or alone.
Anyone with a court order regarding parenting responsibilities issued under the Divorce Act must provide notice if they intend to move. The notice is required whether the parent plans to move with or without the child. The moving parent must notify anyone with a contact order regarding the child and include their new address, moving date, and contact information.
A parent must provide a Notice of Relocation if their plan to move will impact the parenting arrangements and the child’s relationships with others who have contact orders, such as grandparents or stepsiblings. The law requires parents to distribute a Notice of Relocation even when they do not plan to move with the child.
The parent must send the notice to anyone with a contact order regarding the child at least 60 days before the proposed move. A parent who objects to the relocation has 30 days to either respond with an Objection to Relocation form or by bringing a petition to halt the relocation in court. When the relocating parent does not plan to bring the child, the other parent cannot object to the relocation.
The courts expect people with parenting responsibilities to adapt their parenting plans to accommodate the longer distance between the children and one of the parents. The relocating parent’s notice must contain their proposed changes to the parenting plan. If you are the parent intending to relocate, an experienced lawyer in Kawartha Lakes could assist in developing modifications to the plan to include in the notice.
When a parent does not formally object to the relocation, the parents must revise their parenting plan to accommodate the move. Both parents have an obligation under shared parenting responsibility orders to preserve and nurture the children’s relationships with each of them.
Parents could negotiate directly with each other, use mediation or other family dispute resolution services, or work through legal representatives. Possible ways to accommodate a child living a considerable distance from a parent include:
When the parents agree to a parenting plan revision, there is no need to file it with the court. However, a legal advocate in Kawartha Lakes might advise you to do so. Schools, doctors, and others might need proof that a parent can register a child for school or consent to medical treatment. In addition, filing the revised plan with the court ensures that it is enforceable should issues arise in the future.
When you object to relocation, you must first try to work with your co-parent to find a solution. You could explore the possibility of postponing the move, moving without the child, exploring remote work opportunities if the move is to accept a job offer, or other solutions that might be feasible in a specific case. When you and your co-parent cannot agree, you can provide your co-parent with an Objection to Relocation Form or ask a court to intervene.
Once a parent receives an objection or a notice of the court application to oppose the relocation, they cannot move with the child. The judge will consider the matter, and the parent can move with the child only if the judge decides it is in the child’s best interests.
When the parent moving with the child has had primary responsibility and parenting time, it is the objecting parent’s burden to show that moving is not in the child’s best interest. When the parent moving with the child has shared parenting responsibilities with the other parent, the parent desiring to move must show that relocating supports the child’s best interests. A relocation lawyer in Kawartha Lakes such as Paul Riley could prepare a persuasive argument supporting a parent’s goals.
Your parental responsibilities require you to work with your former spouse to resolve issues that affect either parent’s relationship with the children. When one of you wants to relocate, your best strategy is to find a solution that allows the distant parent and the children to preserve a meaningful relationship.
When you cannot agree on a solution, seeking court intervention is an option. A Kawartha Lakes relocation lawyer such as Paul Riley could assist throughout the process. Schedule a consultation today.
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