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VIC Family Court - What are My Chances of Interstate Relocation?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Navywife, 30 August 2015.

  1. Navywife

    Navywife Member

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    My partner is in the defence force and we have lived separately for over two years because of custody of children arrangements in place with my ex. He has just been offered a promotion which means more money but also means another 2 years interstate.

    We will be together for 7 years in a couple of months and desperately want to have children together but because he is interstate we put it off. We have decided that it's now best that we are back together because it was only supposed to be until the end of this year, but it would be silly to say no to a promotion that in the long run will help us better support our family. So I want to take my children to Sydney from Melbourne.

    Currently they see their biological dad every second weekend and half of holidays. I have offered him once a month (long weekends where possible) and all of term school holidays and 4 weeks at Christmas holidays which would give him an extra 20 nights per year. My 9-year-old wants to come, and he sees that his dad and dad's gf are trying to manipulate him and calling me a liar, etc. My 8-year-old, who has a mild disability (autism spectrum) is falling for their promises of dirt bike riding, etc and keeps wavering back and forth. When he is with me he says he wants to go to Sydney but when he is with them he says he wants to stay. They do not acknowledge the autism and have never participated in any therapies or any school events at all for that matter.

    I just want some idea of my chances of family court granting me a relocation order if it gets that far? I would prefer not to take it to family court, but I need my family back together. I should note that he did allow me to move with them when they were 2 & 3, but we managed to get a posting back to Melbourne before they started school.

    I've always tried to keep the peace but this is really important to the health of my family, I've sacrificed a lot for my boys to have a meaningful relationship with their dad, and that would still happen from Sydney-But surely my happiness counts for something?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Relocation is always a bit of a complicated matter, and it's impossible to predict with any degree of accuracy an outcome if the matter were to proceed through court. There are a lot of variables, and certainly nobody here can tell you what your best court of action is because of that. Any parenting orders made by the court, however, must be in the best interests of the children. Thus, realistically, your happiness has limited consideration, but try not to take it personally. It's still possible to pitch relocation in favour of the children's best interests.

    If you can argue to the court that the parenting orders you are seeking will still enable the children's best interests to be met by enabling them to continue having a meaningful relationship with their father, then that is your best chance of attaining permission to relocate - if necessary - through the court. For example, outline how often the children will see and communicate with their dad, and how you intend to facilitate the time they spend with him, such as costs being halved or covered in full by you. Demonstrate your history of positively encouraging their relationship with him, as well, as it will show they will be living in an environment where their relationship with dad is emotionally supported.

    Further, it may be worthwhile getting an expert opinion about the kids' autism. This is just my (inexperienced and medically uneducated) understanding, but kids with autism tend to require stability and patterns of routine in their living arrangements, don't they? If this is the same for your kids, you might be able to also argue that it would in the children's best interests to continue living with you as they have done for the majority of their lives in order to meet their need for stability and routine, as is ordinarily prescribed for children diagnosed with autism.

    Try not to criticise the father, either, even if he's using tactics like bribery on the kids. If you're critical of the father, it shows the kids' relationship with dad won't be supported if you relocate, making it harder for them to maintain a meaningful relationship with their father.

    I hope this in some way helps.
     

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