Get Out of Town! Moving With Your Child

After a separation, many people wish to restart their lives in a new city, and more often than not, a place where there is new opportunity. Our clients often say to us, “I want to move with my child (or children), how do I do that?” Moving with your child or children in British Columbia requires several steps before you can relocate.

Below we provide a basic outline as to what the initial steps are if you are wanting to relocate. This is part of a three part series on relocation in BC.

Step 1 – Give Notice
The Family Law Act in British Columbia requires that the moving party must give at least 60 days’ written notice to the other party. This is a mandatory requirement. We always recommend a formal letter, or formal e-mail, as opposed to a text message, that details the following:

  • Where you intend to move;
  • A brief explanation for the move;
  • When the intended move is to take place;
  • Living arrangements, or potential living arrangements; 
  • School and extracurricular arrangements for the child(ren); and
  • Your recommendation/plan for the parenting schedule moving forward.

After you serve/deliver this written correspondence, the other party must reply as to whether (a) they consent to the move, or (b) object to the move.

Step 2(a) – If the Move is Agreed Upon
If the other party has agreed to move, we strongly recommend placing the terms – as detailed as possible - into an agreement and/or a court order. We always recommend to our clients that everything in a separation be documented to prevent confusion, and potential future conflict.

Step 2(b) – If the Move is Opposed
Many clients go through Step 1, and then come to us and say, “My ex won’t let us move.” When this situation occurs, you must bring an application into court for a Judge to make a determination as to whether the move should occur. The question as to which court, either the Provincial Court of British Columbia, or the Supreme Court of British Columbia, will depend largely on the litigation history of your case.

How We Can Help
Our lawyers are very experienced in bringing, and defending against, relocation cases. They can help you navigate how to best bring your case forward, help you collect all documentation you will need for your case, and prepare all of your court material. Our lawyers are regularly in court, and you can be assured that your best interests, and the best interests of the child, will be put forward to the court in a competent and professional manner.

Do not hesitate to contact one of our lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your matter, your options, and the best course of action moving forward.

For Future Reading
If you would like to take a look at the law on this issue directly, please refer to the Family Law Act, sections 65-71. A link can be found here directly to that section.

By Matthew Katsionis