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Does a parent need the permission of the other parent to move away with the child?
Generally, the Court cannot prevent a parent from relocating to live somewhere else, however the Court does have the power to stop a parent from taking their child to live with them if that will be some distance away from the other parent.
You have just separated, you are all living in the same area, nobody is thinking about relocation, you have reached agreement on living arrangements for the Children, it’s working and you do not want to rock the boat, you want to keep it amicable.
Or, you have some sort of agreement with your former partner for parenting arrangements and you don't want to make them angry by trying to put it in writing or make it official.
Those are common situations.
Especially if you are the parent who doesn't have your child living with you most of the time, you may have a niggling concern about the other parent taking their child to live with them somewhere else in the state (out of your general area or future away), or even in another state.
But things change:
Any one of these things (or another reason entirely) could have you facing a situation where you wake up and find out your former partner has moved somewhere else without telling you.
People on the friendliest of terms will still look after themselves first and choose not to tell you something they know you won’t agree with, if they can get away with it.
The best time to get your former partner to agree to a clause preventing them from relocating is before their circumstances change and they start thinking about it.
They will usually be happy to agree to having Orders containing a clause preventing them from relocating if they do not intend to move anywhere else.
If you are on friendly terms, then it should be easy to get your agreement into Consent Orders.
If you have Consent Orders including a relocation clause then everyone knows where they stand and all cards are on the table.
If your former spouse does not want to have Consent Orders including a Relocation Clause, then you have to ask why not - are they hiding something or hedging their bets to keep options open for the future.
Simply doing a Parenting Plan (or any document other than Consent Orders) containing a clause preventing relocation will not be sufficient to protect you. For more, see our fact sheets What is a Parenting Plan and Parenting Plans -v- Consent Orders.
The sorts of things a Court wants to know, this issues and what a considers if they are deciding a case involving a parent who either has already moved away or who wants to move away, is explained in the fact sheet How does a court decide Relocation cases if a parent moves away or wants to move away.
If you already have a Court Order or are getting a Court Order then you should also read our fact sheet Court Orders & Relocation explained in full.
Our fact sheet The other parent might Relocate: Do I need to do anything might also be helpful to you.
Other Questions answered in the Parent & Child Relocation Section
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