On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Monday, January 19, 2015.
In matters of child custody, the Alberta courts generally presume that maximizing contact between the child and both parents is in the child’s best interests. Every family is different, though, and economic or employment issues may arise that require one parent to relocate with the child.
If you or your co-parent intends to relocate, then you should know that the court does not presume that moving with the child is necessarily in the child’s best interests. Before making a significant move, a parent may have to make a case to the court with a mobility application.
The custody and access arrangement prior to the planned relocation must be carefully considered, as the status quo is important in determining how a change in circumstances may affect the child. Whether or not the access parent has been meaningfully and consistently involved in the child’s life is a factor that could affect the court’s decision to grant or not grant mobility.
A parent who has not been consistently involved in the child’s life may have difficulty in trying to prevent the other parent and the child from moving. Likewise, a parent who wants to move with a child may have difficulty in trying to do so if the child and the other parent have a close relationship.
In one of our previous posts, we discussed a number of issues that may arise if there is a dispute over child mobility.
To make a case for relocation, evidence is needed. You and your co-parent may also have a formal agreement that addresses matters of custody and access, including a requirement that proper notice be given prior to any planned move.
For a list of the kinds of evidence the court may consider, please see our article, “Making the Case to Move with Your Child.”
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