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How do I move to another Province with my child?

As a divorce lawyer in Calgary, I am frequently asked by clients how easy it is to move to another Province with their child if they have separated from the child's other parent.

If the other parent consents, it is relatively easy, although both parents need to accept that there can be issues after the relocation. For example, the parent that has moved may need the other parent to sign documents to enable the child to:

obtain a passport;

receive medical attention; and

enrol in school.

If the other parent does not consent, the parent that wishes to move should not underestimate how much of an uphill task they face in persuading the Court to allow them to relocate with the child against the wishes of the other parent. This is particularly the case if a Court has already dealt with custody and access/guardianship and parenting in either a Divorce Judgment and Corollary Relief Order, or in a Parenting Order.

This is because the Courts wish to ensure that both parents will have the maximum amount of time possible with the child and, inevitably, one parent moving to another Province typically means that the child will spend less time with both parents than the child did prior to the move.

The Court will look at the Application from the perspective of what is best for the child, and not from the perspective of what is best for the parent that wishes to move. The parent bringing the Application will have to be able to persuade the Court that the move (and therefore the child spending less time with the parent that remains) is better for the child than the child remaining where s/he is. If both parents are involved with the child: this will be difficult to achieve. If the parent that is not moving is not involved with the child on a regular basis: this will be easier to achieve.

There are many cases where the Court has refused to allow the child to move, even if this means a dramatic change to the access/parenting provisions of the current schedule.

If you would like a consultation with me regarding any issues of divorce, separation, custody, access, guardianship, parenting, child support, spousal support or division of property, please contact me via email here, or call me on 403-538-2105.

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