When can a woman move with her children?

mom consoling toddler girlIt is not uncommon for a woman to want to move with her children after she has left her partner. Even when she has sole custody, if he has access rights, she generally needs either his consent or an order from the family court, before she can relocate the children. This can lead to a protracted and expensive court battle.

A recent (2013) decision in British Columbia found that a mother was permitted to move the children without notice to the father because the move did not constitute a “matter of significant distance.” In this case, she moved within what is known as the lower mainland. The judge okayed the move because, while it would mean longer travel time for the children to get to their father, the mother had offered to facilitate this and to assume the burden of additional travel.

This case is particularly interesting because it comes soon after B.C.’s new Family Law Act came into effect. If you are interested in reading the full decision, you can find it at: Berry v Berry, 2013 Carswell BC 1878 (B.C.S.C.)

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