A member asked almost 8 years ago


My husband and I split last November and we discussed that at the time it would be best not to disrupt our children's routines too much so with great heartache I left my 2 girls (one aged 7 and the other, 12) in his care. I'm currently engaged to an amazing supportive woman who is in the defence force. We were recently informed that we will most likely be posted to Townsville which is 1500km away from my girls. I want to know since there is no custody agreement in place, can I obtain custody and take my girls with me? He always said he'd be supportive and never stop me seeing them but he makes things very difficult at times and I currently pay him child support at a rather high rate.

Law Advisor Research Team
Researchers at LawAdvisor

Hi there. It sounds like you are in a difficult position. You have the option of negotiating a new parenting arrangement with your husband that involves you relocating to Townsville with your two daughters. If you are able to reach an agreement, you should put it in writing, although this will not make the agreement legally binding. If you want the agreement to be legally binding, you would need to apply for a consent order from the Family Court before you move. This would mean both parents are legally required to follow the terms of the new parenting arrangement.

However, if you are not able to reach an agreement with your husband, you could attend a dispute resolution session. Family Relationships Online is a government service provider offering these type of services (www.familyrelationships.gov.au).

If you are still unable to reach an agreement, you could apply to court for a relocation order that will allow you to move to Townsville with your children. Whether you will succeed and be granted this order will depend upon whether the relocation order is in the best interests of the children. The court will also take into account other factors such as the children's views, the reason for the relocation, the financial implications of the move, the amount and ease of contact your children will have with both parents, and the extent to which each of you have previously satisfied your parental responsibilities. This list is not exhaustive and the court will make a decision based on the specific facts of your situation.

Note that, if you decide to relocate your daughters without your husband’s permission, he has the right to apply for a recovery order from the Family Court, which will effectively return your children to him.

Suggested way forward

For more information on family law matters, including relocating children, visit the Family Court website (www.familycourt.gov.au). If the issue escalates, or for professional advice on the best course of action, you should speak to a family lawyer. By pressing the “Consult a Lawyer” button, LawAdvisor can help you search for experienced lawyers and obtain fee proposals for their services. Costs for legal advice and representation will vary between providers based on experience and the scope of services.

Answered over 7 years ago   Legal disclaimer


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