How Can A Family Lawyer Help You Build A Case For Relocation?

Family Lawyer Help

If you’re considering relocating with your children, it’s essential to understand the laws that apply in your state. A family lawyer can help you build a case for relocation and guide you through the process.

Several factors will be considered when determining whether or not you can relocate with your children. At the forefront is whether your motives for relocating are justifiable. For example, if you’re looking to move closer to family members who can help support your parenting role, this may positively impact the judge’s final decision. However, it will be deemed less acceptable if you relocate simply because of a new job opportunity or to take advantage of lower housing costs.

In addition to your reasons for wanting to relocate, the court will also consider the following factors:

  • Changing relationships between children and their parents as a result of relocation
  • The distance of the proposed relocation
  • The availability of affordable and quality childcare in the new location
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate and communicate with each other
  • in the event of any domestic violence or child abuse

If you can demonstrate that the relocation is in the best interests of your children, you will have a better chance of being granted permission to move. A family lawyer can help you build a strong case for relocation.

Most family lawyers work on a no-win, no-fee basis to make it easier for you to access legal assistance.

Benefits of hiring a family lawyer

You can discuss your case with the lawyer confidentially and in detail without incurring any fees until the matter becomes more complex or challenging to handle alone. If you are successful in your case, the family lawyer’s fees are generally payable by the other side.

Steps by Step Guide To Build a Solid Case for Relocation

When you start building your case for relocation, it’s essential to consider each step and the order in which you approach them. This will help you make a persuasive and robust case that’s more likely to be accepted by the court:

  • Take appropriate advice – If there is a history of domestic violence or child abuse, speak to your lawyer about proceeding when filing your application.
  • Request that the children’s schedule be adjusted – If there are any difficulties in custody arrangements, consider arranging times when the child will stay with the other parent. This may make it easier for you to move closer to family members who can support you in parenting roles.
  • Submit evidence of your new location – This could include copies of leases, bills, or any other documents that show you have made arrangements for the children in the new location.
  • Submit a proposed parenting plan – This should detail how you will continue to provide a loving and stable home for the children even though you are relocated.
  • Make a case for changes to childcare – If your new location is too far from the current child care arrangements, you can ask that the hours or days of availability be altered.
  • Request that both parties accept any court decisions – Even if your ex-partner disagrees with the decision, ensure they are aware of them and comply with them to avoid further conflict.

By considering the factors that the court will consider, you can put together a well-prepared and persuasive case for relocation. Working with a family lawyer will ensure that all the bases are covered and that you have the best chance of success.

How does a Court decide Whether a Child Can Relocate?

When a family law matter involves a child, the court’s number one priority is the child’s best interests. In cases of relocation, the court will consider several factors to determine whether it is in the child’s best interests to move. 

Who Has to Prove Whether the Relocation Is in the Child’s Best Interests?

When a family lawyer representing either parent of the child makes an application to relocate with the child, that party’s responsibility is to prove that relocation with the child is in their best interests.

What Happens if Relocation Is Prohibited?

Suppose you try moving your child out of their current state without the other parent’s permission. In that case, it could be considered a ‘wrongful removal of a child from another parent’ or ‘wrongful retention of a child from another parent.’ This offence may result in significant penalties, including fines and/or imprisonment.

What If the Other Parent Doesn’t Want the Child to Relocate?

How likely is relocation to succeed if the other parent doesn’t support it? If you go ahead with your plans without their consent, there is a risk that they could successfully apply for a court order that prevents you from relocating with the child. This is especially true if you have no history of commencing proceedings without prior agreement.

If Relocation is Allowed, How Will the Court Decide the New Arrangements?

When relocation does go ahead successfully, it’s vital to ensure that you understand your new responsibilities as a parent. This includes providing for all of your child’s needs and ensuring they maintain contact with the other parent. The court will usually make orders about how much contact the child must have with the other parent and where the child will reside.

Other Terms You Need to Know About Child Relocation:

  • Residence order: a court order determining which parent a child will live with.
  • Contact order: a court order regulating the amount and type of contact a child must have with another person, usually a non-residential parent.
  • Custody: the right and responsibility to care for a child.
  • Access: a person’s right to visit with or have contact with a child.

What If I’m Unsure About How Relocation Will Affect My Child?

If you are unsure about relocation, speaking with an experienced family lawyer may be wise. A family law professional can assess your circumstances and let you know what will or won’t work in the court’s eyes.


Parents who are divorcing or separating (contested or uncontested divorce included) must be aware of the legalities regarding relocation. If you have recently gone through a separation, speak to a family lawyer so they can assess your best options for relocating with your child successfully. If you want help with the separation agreement, you can contact our family lawyers, and they can help you.  They will also ensure that you understand any new responsibilities or requirements once you have relocated. For more detail contact us.

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Written by: the Divorce Fast Team

Our team of Ontario lawyers has over 15 years of experience handling divorce and other family law matters.

All of our lawyers are in good standing with the Law Society of Ontario, and have the knowledge and experience to help and guide you through your family law issues. Whether your matter pertains to divorce, separation, custody/access, or support claims, we are the firm for you.

Contact Divorce Fast for a Free Consultation.

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