7th September 2011
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Relocating With Children and Mobility Applications by Kurt E. Schlachter

Jenny and Mike were a happily married couple once, but that was in the past. Now the only thing they seem to agree on is that they both love their daughter Laura, who is eight years old, very much. Because they each want to spend as much time with Laura as possible, and agree that this is best for her, they have a joint custody agreement. Mike lives in Calgary, whereas Jenny lives in Red Deer with Laura, who has access with her dad every other weekend and on alternating holidays. Unfortunately, Jenny was recently left unemployed by a recent corporate downsizing, and was only able to find replacement employment in Montreal. Mike doesn’t want Laura to go with Jenny to Montreal because he feels that he will hardly ever get to see her and feels that if Jenny wants to move Laura should stay with him, whereas Jenny wants to take Laura with her and believes that as the primary caregiver she can just move without Mike’s permission. Who is right?

 

In today’s economic climate, sudden job loss is becoming less of a rarity and a serious concern for many people. Worse, sometimes losing a job means one may have to move a significant distance away to find employment. This situation can become even more complicated when children subject to custody agreements between parents are involved. In such situations, moving with the children of a relationship or marriage will require one of two things: the consent of the other parent, or an approved “mobility application”, which can only be obtained through a Court process.

Mobility applications involve the consideration of a number of factors before the issue of where the child(ren) at issue should live can be determined. Such considerations include, but are not limited to, employment income/opportunities, schooling, support system/extended family, connection to community, and even the wishes of the child. The paramount consideration, of course, will always be what is in the best interests of the child(ren). For further information or assistance with the issue of relocating with children or pursuing a mobility application, please contact myself or one of our other knowledgeable lawyers for a consultation.

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Written by Kurt Schlachter