Can my ex move my child to another city without my permission?
Cases involving one parent moving to a new jurisdiction without the other parent’s permission are often called “mobility” cases and are amongst the most challenging for courts to resolve. The Supreme Court of Canada addressed the issue of mobility in Gordon v Goertz, and determined that each case has to be analyzed on a case-by-case basis and that all cases must be resolved in the best interests of the children. In determining the best interests of a child, the court may look at various factors including:
- The existing parenting arrangement and the relationship between the child and the custodial parent
- The access arrangement between the child and the access parent
- The desirability of maximizing contact between the child and both parents.
- The views of the child
- The parent’s reason for moving
- Disruption to the child
Generally, courts will be wary to allow a parent to move the child where both parents are involved with the child. Further, the court’s analysis should not be focused on the needs of the parent, but rather, the best interests of the child. As such, one parent’s ability to earn more money in another city will likely not be weighted heavily if the child has an active relationship with the access parent. However, a parent’s ability to provide for a child is a legitimate factor for the court to consider.
If your ex is proposing to move the children to a different jurisdiction and you are concerned the move will impede your access to your children, you should act quickly. If you fail to act, the court may accept that you acquiesced to the move. The longer the child resides in the new jurisdiction, the more difficult it may be to change the parenting “status quo,” as the child will form bonds with his or her new community that a court may be unwilling to disrupt. Contact Purves-Smith Law for a free consultation if you live in the Guelph or Kitchener-Waterloo area and are worried your ex is considering a move that will impact on your access rights.