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Relocation Issues

Hi all,

Things have been really stable on my end after all the issues I've been through but now issues exist with my wifes ex, the fun never stops!

Here's the situation:

A few months ago I lost my job, failing to find work again in our current town of residence (which is an issue for many) we considered a move approximately 1hr 20mins drive from here. Before going too far we contacted the Father of my step daughter to let him know of our intentions. His response was as long as she was happy with the move then he would be. My step daughter is 9. After discussing ourselves with her she is happy to move,  after this intention from the Father we have investigated work opportunities, taken the kids to look at the school and looked at properties to rent. More recently I applied for a position in the area and have been successful, important to note I'd also applied for the few positons in my current area but were unsuccessful.

Now we have received a complete change of intention from the Father who has made his intention clear that mediation, then court will occur. My step daughter has informed us that her Father discussed with her about the move and when she said she wanted to he said they wouldn't do any of the fun stuff they use to like annual trips because of the distance away. As with the location, my step daughters grandmother, cousins and aunties reside in the area and similarly with my step son not of the same Father. My wifes family also lives in this area including parents.

This all leaves us in a bit of a quandary.  Our lease is up in January and I need to respond to the job offer also. The whole reasoning behind our move is for better family support, better schooling and employment. Without the Fathers initial responses we would not have put as much into this as he indicated he was ok with the move but it seems considering he could not coax the desired answer out of his daughter he has resorted to blackmail of his daughter and court proceedings for us.

We understand that the courts are now closed until late January but all things considered our requirements are more imminent; however, we do not want to shoot ourselves in the foot and just move. We have arranged a meeting with a Family Lawyer on Monday but I'm wondering if anyone can offer their insight, experience or advice on this to better prepare us for what's ahead.


[EDIT] I forgot to mention we'd also offered to compensate time with him i.e. additional time over school holidays in addition to facilitating the travel for ALL contact.

Last edit: by FaithNoMore

The move is not far really and if everything is for the best then make the move and show that it will not stop visits.
I believe most judges would see the move as insignificant and not a need for court action.
Further to this we've read over the orders and have noticed the following.

The orders:

1. DO NOT state that both parties must consent to where the child attends school;
2. DO NOT state a particular locality for changeovers, only the mothers or fathers residence;
3. DO NOT have a clause to prohibit relocation.

Given that the relocation is approximately 1hr 20m from where we currently reside (which is considered 'short distance'), and that the current order could still be satisfied if we moved save for further travel for both parties, how can our relocation be a contravention of the orders?
I believe that the same as previously stated applies.
Make the move and demonstrate that the move does not stop time for the other party.
The distance involved does not need a relocation order. These are for great distances only.
Another alternative is for you to move, but the family stay in the short term, to at least allow the 3 month probation period that usually applies to new job's to expire and assurance that the position is permanent.  Although, the downside of that is a possible lack of commitment, starting school at Easter rather than the beginning of the year etc.  I would agree that as long as time with the child is not inhibited, and there are not any exclusions in your current Orders, you could make an argument if there was a contravention matter brought before the court.  Your considerations though, are 1.  how likely is the other parent to bring this matter to court if his time is not reduced; 2. Does he have the time and money to fund such a matter; 3.  is he motivated by some other means that he would use this as an excuse to bring such a matter to court?  or 4.  Would he just give up and let you go once the child is established etc and he is still having the same time, with no extra expenses?  Hope that is helpful.
Apart from this site you have posted on another site that the move is 145 kms away and the travelling time is 1 hour 20 minutes. I do not know where you reside but in certain areas 145 kms would be considered significant (In the NT and WA 200 kms is not generally considered significant, in more populated areas it would be) As an example a parent relocating from Sydney to the South Coast might only move 150 kms but such is the geography that this might add 3 hours travelling time.
kalimnadancer said
The distance involved does not need a relocation order. These are for great distances only.
This is not correct as the term relocation applies to Section 60CC and some case law.
Primary considerations

(2) The primary considerations are:

(a) the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both of the childs parents; and…(b) to (d)

 (e) the practical difficulty and expense of a child spending time with and communicating with a parent and whether that difficulty or expense will substantially affect the childs right to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis;

Whilst you do not have any order stopping a move you and are not apparently contravening any order you are opening up the possibility of a return to Court on the above Section 60CC considerations.
1  Are you interfering with an existing meaningful relationship?
2  Will the expense and difficulty substantially affect the childs relationship with the other parent?

As suggested elsewhere you might consider making the journey until your new employment is confirmed and using the time to negotiate with the Father.
FaithNoMore I would be uncomfortable if my ex wanted to move my child 150kms away.

He may really like the fact his daughter is in a school and lives close. He may like the idea of being able to go to the school and be involved with school activities and excursions etc.

I don't think it's fair if your personal situation would have the impact of impairing his relationship with his daughter.

Just wanted to give you a different perspective and some food for thought.
Some time and alot of insight has been since I first posted.

It was never our intention to move regardless,  we didn't want this to be that kind of situation of uncertainty nor put the Father through any undue angst.  Unfortunately the Father doesn't share our approach and has submitted to court before we could mediate through 3rd party with false and preposterous allegations with a notice of risk. Quite dissapointing he would slander us the way he has but that's the way it is. I've taken up my position and had to move away from my family as the travel to/from work is cost prohibitive.  Not easy times but we beleive what we'd ultimately like to achieve is in the best interests of our entire family unit whilst still maintaing the relationship with OP.
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