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Child Custody: What Legal Steps Are Required Before Relocation?Child Custody: What Legal Steps Are Required Before Relocation?

During a marriage of a British Columbia couple, it would not be unusual for the family to relocate to another city — or even another province or country. However, if the parents are divorced, and there are children, it becomes significantly more complicated. The impact such a relocation will have on the child must be considered — regardless of whether the relocating parent has child custody.

The parent relocation intentions must give the other guardian — and other people with child contact as ordered by the court — written notice at least 60 days in advance. This does not only apply to a guardian moving away with the child, but also for the parent without custody. Any other person who has court-approved contact with the child may not file an objection but could approach the court to modify arrangements that would allow a continued relationship with the child.

Certain circumstances may lead to the court waiving the 60-day notice rule. These may include cases in which the notice may bring about family violence or if the court-ordered arrangements for contact with the other parent can remain in place with no changes needed. If both parents can agree on new arrangements, they may be able to adjust their agreement.

A parent who wants to object will have to do that through the British Columbia court. The process may be easier if done with the support and guidance of an experienced child custody lawyer. The judge will consider several factors, one of which will be whether the relocation will serve the best interests of the child. The court will also determine whether new, workable arrangements can be established that will not jeopardise the child’s relationship with the other parent.

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