Child relocation can be very difficult cases to deal with. Although it is important for both parents to be involved in a child’s life, parents have a right to live their own lives. In today’s world of globalization and fluid work circumstances, it is not unusual for people to change jobs and careers frequently and find job opportunities very far away. It is also not unusual for them to become romantically involved with people who live in another city, province, or even continent.
When a parent who has custody of a child wants to move and the non-custodial parent doesn’t agree, it presents a serious challenge to the courts.
Lawyers For Changing Child Custody Arrangements
Unfortunately, Ontario doesn’t have legislation to address child relocation. There are some principles the court generally considers, always keeping in mind the best interests of the children:
- The reason for the relocation (i.e., whether the relocating parent is moving for a new job, a new partner or for some other reason)
- How much each parent is involved in the children’s life
- The wishes of the children
- How much difficulty the move will add to the noncustodial parent’s ability to see the children
- Whether the children will benefit from the move, either from the custodial parent’s greater earnings, better schools or other reasons
- The noncustodial parent’s ability to travel or pay for the children to travel
- The ability to compensate, for example by arranging for the children to spend the school year with one parent and holidays with the other parent
As always, it’s advisable for parents to try to work out their own solutions through negotiation or mediation, rather than going through the courts.
Our Toronto custody relocation lawyers can help you find out how likely the courts are to decide in your favour, and can help you work out a solution so that you don’t have to go before a judge. For example, although the noncustodial parent must pay child support whether he or she is able to see the child or not, it may be possible to negotiate for a reduction in child support if the cost of travelling or paying for the child’s travel expenses is large. There may be many solutions that can help resolve the situation.
If you are facing a court battle over relocation, contact Baker & Baker at 416-964-2215 or by email. Let us help you explore your options.