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Mobility & Relocation
Family Law

BOUTIQUE KELOWNA FAMILY LAW FIRM

Mobility or Relocation issues in family law arise where one parent wants to move to a new location and there are children involved and the other parent opposes the move.

What you need to know about Relocation with children

In most cases a minor move is a non-issue. It is in circumstances where the parent’s move is such a change that it affects parenting time and disrupts the existing arrangements that are in place. In this situation, either cooperation, negotiation and/or compromise comes into play and as a last resort, an application to Court to determine whether the move is in the best interest of the child. 

The specific procedure that one must follow depends on: 

  1. whether the existing arrangement between the guardians or parents  is pursuant to an agreement or a court order; 
  2. Whether the agreement or court order was made pursuant to the Family Law Act, BC or the Divorce Act
  3. The existing parenting arrangements in place; and 
  4. Whether the move of the parent or of the parent and child would significantly affect the other parent or guardian’s relationship with the child or children. 

A move by either the parent/guardian or parent/guardian and child/children that would affect the other guardian’s relationship with the child/children is defined as a relocation. This is usually a long distance move to another geographical region that disturbes the existing parenting arrangements currently in place.

Whether your move is around the corner or to a new city or province, it is best to speak to all individuals involved in the day to day life of the children. This includes people with “contact”, which are usually grandparents or other significant family members as well as all other guardians, which is usually the other parent. Developing a solid plan that maintains the other guardian and contact people’s relationship with the child/children will go a long way in making the plan a success and possibly result in you avoiding Court. 


As stated above, the procedure is slightly different depending on whether the agreement or court order was made pursuant to the Family Law Act, BC or the Divorce Act. In the case of the Family Law Act, the lack of a written agreement or court order involves proceeding under a different section of the Family Law Act. Where an agreement or court order does exist, both statutes require notice to be given to the other guardians or individuals with contact if a guardian plans on relocating. There are specific forms that can be used which provides information such as the date of the proposed move and the new address. 

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