WA Existing Consent Orders - Relocation & Custody of Children

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Iain Clark

8 September 2014
I have a Consent Orders that states my children's primary place of residence must be in the regional town where I live which is about 8 hours from Perth (custody of children). My ex-wife is remarrying and wants to relocate with the children to Perth. I have a strong history of regular weekly and fortnightly access to my children whom I spend time with approximately 30% of the time.

1. I have been given advice that to take this matter to court to get a variation to the existing Consent Order would normally take anything in the region of 18-24 months. If there are no extenuating circumstances of abuse, violence etc is this advice accurate or is there a way for her to fast track her application?

2. I know the court will always make a determination based on what is in the best interests of the children but based on recent cases is the Parenting Order as it stands likely to stand up in my favour or will she have a strong case for relocation given she is re-marrying and is the primary carer etc?

3. If I want to make my own application to change the existing Consent Order to try and obtain 50/50 joint custody arrangement I understand I need to submit a Form 1 and Case Info Affidavit after having secured a Certificate from mediation. Is this correct?

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Iain,

Variations of consent orders are always determined on a case-by-case basis so it is very difficult to say. Variations are considered a new consent order.

Some of the factors to consider/court will consider:

- Why was the original residential order made?
- Your history with the children since the separation/divorce and their mother's history with the children
- If your children are old enough, what their preferences are (this is extremely important to courts)
- Respective income capacity and whether relocating would cause significant inconvenience for you to see your children
- Your family lifestyle, profession etc.

However, the court will primarily consider what is in the best interests of your children and this will be prioritised above any concerns for the parents.

See "applying to change an existing order" by the Family Law Courts.

Finally, if your ex-partner applies for a variation of consent order, you will be notified and have an opportunity to object.