Estate & Family Law Blog

Child safety and parental relocation after divorce


As parents, most people would do anything required to keep their children safe from harm. As understandable as this is, citizens of British Columbia must still abide by the laws the government has set forth, even when working to protect children. Parental relocation after divorce or separation is one issue with requirements that must be met before the move can take place. This is the case even for parents who believe their child to be in danger.

While parental relocation can be a complex matter for all of the involved parties, the guidelines for doing so are quite clear. In most cases, the parent who wishes to relocate must give written notice to the other parent or guardians as well as the people who are allowed to have contact with the children. This notice must be given regardless of whether the child will be relocating as well and it must be given no less than 60 days in advance.

In many cases, once notice is received all parties will agree to the move and simply make adjustments to contact and parenting time arrangements. However, there are some instances when the court will allow the relocation notice to be waived.

One such situation occurs when providing the notice could result in family violence. For example, if a parent or guardian believes the other parent will harm a member of the family after receiving the notice, the court may make an exception about providing relocation notice. It is crucial to understand that a parent cannot decide to skip the relocation notice on his or her own. A court is the only entity that may make this decision.

Parents who wish to relocate or take other steps in order to protect their child from harm following divorce can seek a child protection order instead of picking up and moving. To keep your children safe throughout your relocation attempts, seek legal advice about child protection orders from a British Columbia lawyer.

Source: Government of British Columbia, “What happens if one parent wants to move?,” accessed Aug. 04, 2016

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