When parents get divorced, the court’s division of parenting time and decision-making responsibilities between them often imposes some restrictions on their ability to move to a new home with their child. Specifically, a parent who wants to move a significant distance away from their co-parent may need to seek permission from a court before they can do so.
Whether you or your ex want to move away with your child, having a Toronto relocation lawyer by your side could be crucial to enforcing your rights and preserving your relationship with your child. Once retained, your dedicated custody lawyer could guide you through every step of the relocation process, from providing formal notice of your plans, to resolving potential conflicts with your co-parent.
Under the Divorce Act, any move that makes an existing parenting time schedule no longer tenable or which would have a substantial impact on a child’s relationship with one or both parents is considered a “relocation” that requires court approval. Depending on the circumstances, a relocation may entail a parent moving away with their child or simply moving by themselves while their child remains with their other parent or guardian.
Usually, courts prefer for co-parents to work out issues related to relocation through private negotiation, mediation, and other methods of dispute resolution that do not require court intervention. If both parents can work together to create a mutually agreeable parenting plan which accounts for one parent’s relocation, the court will generally approve that plan without any need for prolonged hearings or applications, so long as it reasonably serves the best interests of the children involved.
Alternatively, if a parent looking to relocate properly notifies the other parent and receives no objection from them or a court within 30 days, the relocating parent can proceed with their move. Go over these and other applicable rules in more detail during a confidential consultation with a Toronto relocation lawyer.
Whether a move is considered a “relocation” under the Divorce Act or not, the parent undertaking that move must notify the other parent in writing of when they plan to relocate, what their new address will be, and how they could get in contact with them. If the move is far away enough or disruptive enough to qualify as a relocation, the relocating person must provide this notice at least 60 days prior to moving and provide additional details through the appropriate Notice of Relocation form.
Importantly, parents who believe that notifying their child’s other parent of their relocation plans would put them or their child at risk of harm can petition the court for an exception to the usual notification rules. A lawyer in Toronto could provide invaluable assistance in accomplishing a relocation like this in accordance with provincial law.
Relocating to a new home or city when you share parenting time and responsibilities with someone else may or may not require court involvement, depending on your circumstances. Regardless, there are obligations you must fulfill and rules you must follow to ensure your move complies with the law and court’s orders.
A Toronto relocation lawyer like Paul Riley could provide much-needed guidance and support throughout whatever procedures are necessary for your unique situation. Call today to learn more.
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