Custody of Children Rights - Travel Distance?

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4 May 2014
My ex and I have a verbal agreement regarding custody of children and access with our two children, now our son has started school. She is finding things a bit too much for her to handle, despite living with her parents. We live 5 hours apart at the moment and she recently subtly suggested myself and my new partner move closer so we can help out more with transport since she doesn't have a drivers licence and her father works full time.

She has just started influencing our son that the distance is too far to travel, despite the fact we have had this agreement in place for over a year and the access currently is only half the school holidays and phone calls 3-4 times a week. Where do I stand legally under family law?


Well-Known Member
24 April 2014
Hi Matthew,

I would suggest heading over to the Family Law Courts website - there is a lot of information you can access on this issue.'s+Matters

I wasn't able to find information that specifically related to your exact situation, but there is a lot of information regarding dispute resolution, and your parental rights.

Another website I think you will find helpful is - they have an advice line you can call.

The Family Relationship Advice Line
Phone: 1800 050 321
International callers: +61 7 3423 6878

What can you expect to receive?
The Family Relationship Advice Line will be available to provide you with:
    • information about services to help people maintain healthy relationships
    • information about the family law system
    • advice on family separation issues
    • guidance on developing workable parenting arrangements after family separation
    • advice about the impact of conflict on children
    • referral to Family Relationship Centres and other dispute resolution services
    • organisation of telephone dispute resolution for people unable to attend a family dispute resolution service, and
    • referral to a range of other services to help with family relationship and family separation issues.
Good luck! I hope you find a solution!


Well-Known Member
19 April 2014
Hi Matthew
If you would like your arrangements to be legally enforceable, you'll need to either:
  1. If you can agree on arrangements - write out your agreed terms and apply to the Family Law Court for Consent Orders which are legally enforceable and both you and your ex will need to comply with them.
  2. If you can't agree on arrangements - go to family dispute resolution (I think you get a free hour of dispute resolution at a Family Relationships Centre) and if you still can't agree after dispute resolution, you can apply for the Family Law Court to make Parenting Orders (the Court will make it based on the best interests of the child and related considerations) and both you and your ex will need to comply with them.
It will save you time and money if you can come to an agreement (in writing) and apply for Consent Orders rather than having to get the Family Court to make Parenting Orders. It might also be worth seeing if you can get that free dispute resolution session anyway if you're struggling to come to an agreement.