Relocation Disputes

What happens when one parent wants to move with the children and the other parent does not agree?


Relocation disputes arise when one parent wants to move and the other parent does not want the children to move to that location. The parent disputing the move may request that the children remain in their primary care. In other circumstances, a parent may move without a prior notice to the other parent, forcing the other parent to seek assistance for the return of the child.

Recent changes to the Divorce Act acknowledge the importance of dealing with proposed moves appropriately, and the following two (2) clauses are being included in parenting orders:

  • Any person who has parenting time or decision-making responsibility in respect of a child to whom this order applies, and who intends to change their place of residence or the residence of the child, shall notify every other person who has parenting time, decision-making responsibility or contact with the child under a court order.

    This notification must be given by (specify method of notification) and must include the date that the change of residence will occur, the address of the new residence and any change in contact information resulting from the change in residence.  

  • Any person who has parenting time or decision-making responsibility in respect of a child to whom this order applies, and who intends to relocate, shall notify, at least 60 days before the relocation, every other person who has parenting time, decision-making responsibility or contact with the child under a court order.

    This notification must be given in the form prescribed by the regulations to the Divorce Act (Canada) by (specify method of notification).

The best solution for relocation disputes is usually for the parents to find a parenting plan that allows the children to maintain a relationship with each parent regardless of where they live.

Relocation issues can be difficult to resolve. If you are contemplating a move or if you have been notified of your co-parents intentions to move, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can work with you and provide recommendations on the best way to approach your situation. If you need an experienced lawyer, our team can refer you to lawyer to guide you through the process.