Relocation with children
In British Columbia, circumstances occasionally change following a couple receiving a court order governing the visitation rights of a noncustodial parent. When the circumstantial change involves the residential custodian’s need to move far away, the law mandates that the other parent be notified unless an exception applies to the requirement.
The parent who wishes to relocate must provide notice in writing to the other parent at least 60 days in advance of the planned move. The notice must include the proposed place and the date of the proposed move. In the event that providing notice would endanger the applicant through domestic violence, he or she may apply to the court for an exemption to the notice requirement. An exemption to notice may also be obtained by application if the other parent has been absent and has had no ongoing relationship with the child.
After receiving written notice, the other parent may file an objection to the proposed move. If he or she does not file an objection, the custodial parent may move with the child as planned. If an objection to the move is filed, both parents may present evidence to the court concerning the proposed move and the child’s best interests. The court will then rule whether or not the proposed move will be allowed.
As relocating with a child will most likely have a significant impact on the other parent’s parenting time, the court, when granting the child’s residential custodian permission to move with the child, will often issue concomitant orders modifying the parenting time orders to provide for continued contact after the move has occurred. It is possible to negotiate an agreement regarding a proposed relocation and parenting time changes with the other parent in some cases. A lawyer who practices family law may be able to help.
Source: Queen’s Printer, BC, “Division 6 — Relocation“, December 30, 2014
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