EXPERT INSIGHT 69 APR 2022 | WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM What considerations should be made for the child during relocation? Considerations which should be made during a relocation includes what is in the child’s best interests and, practically, may include: • What school the child will attend; • Where the child will live; • Arrangements for the child’s ongoing communication with the other parent and other significant persons in their life such as grandparents and aunts and uncles, both maternal and paternal; • Who will fund the cost of such time occurring – for example, if the child or the other parent is to travel to facilitate the time; • How communication between parents for joint decision-making will occur; • How the relocating parent will foster and encourage the child’s meaningful relationship with the other parent from abroad; • Whether the child has already established a strong relationship with the non-relocating parent that can withstand the test of distance. How can an experienced family lawyer aid in a case like this? To provide you with advice so that you can make informed decisions about your options and avoid the consequences referred to above. It is also important that such advice is obtained at an early stage – ideally before steps have been taken for the relocation (or before the relocation occurs). For an Australia-based parent looking to move abroad with their child, what is the legal process involved? A parent seeking to move abroad with their child should in the first instance obtain the other parent’s consent. If consent cannot be achieved, then they will be required to participate in Mandatory Family Dispute Resolution (Mediation) to attempt to reach an agreement or otherwise file an Application with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia permitting the relocation. If a parent were to move to relocate internationally with the child absent such consent (where there are existing parenting orders or proceedings already on foot) then they risk committing an offence in the terms addressed above, and/or an order being made by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia requiring their return. Alternatively, if the other country is a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, then an Application may be made by the Department of Social Services (the Australian Central Authority) for the child’s return. Are there any potential difficulties that can arise during this process? The potential difficulties are referred to above regarding the consequences where a party is found to have removed a child from their habitual place of residence. Also worth considering are the risk of costs and the disruption – particularly to the children – of moving and returning. How can these be avoided before they jeopardise the move? By obtaining consent, attending mediation to negotiate the relocation, or being the moving party in a court application. Carly Mirza-Price Partner Mills Oakley Level 7/151 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia Tel: +61 2 8289 5877 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.millsoakley.com.au About Carly Mirza-Price Carly Mirza-Price is a partner in the Mills Oakley family law team in Sydney, with 12 years of experience working exclusively in the area of family law. She is trusted as a subject matter expert in a range of areas including property settlements (both married and de facto), parenting matters (domestic and internationally), binding financial agreements, child support, divorce and collaborative family law. In 2022 she was named as a Recommended Lawyer in the Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers in New South Wales, Australia. About Mills Oakley Mills Oakley is a full-service premium commercial and personal service law firm in Australia with a national client base, over 110 partners and more than 700 staff. The firm was founded in Melbourne in 1864 and has been growing ever since. Mills Oakley works with a number of ASX200 clients and assists leading corporates in transferring their legal work from higher-cost firms.