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Relocation with Your Child


The Family Law Act of British Columbia came into force on March 18, 2013 and made significant changes in the law governing relocation with children. If you would like to move with your child to another city (even a neighbouring city), province, or country, the important information below may apply to you.


According to Section 65 of the Family Law Act, “relocation” means a change in the location of the residence of a child or a child’s guardian that can reasonably be expected to have a significant impact on the child’s relationship with (a) a guardian, or (b) one or more other persons having a significant role in the child’s life.


If you are:


1)a guardian of the child;
2)plan to relocate by yourself, relocate the child only, or relocate with the child; AND
3)there is an existing written agreement or court order respecting parenting arrangements or contact with the child.*


*If you do not meet these criteria, different laws apply to you. Book a free 30 minute consultation with one of our family lawyers to discuss your rights and obligations.


You are permitted to move with the child if you:


1)give all other guardians and persons having contact with the child at least 60 days’ written notice of
a.the date of the relocation, and
b.the name of the proposed relocation.


2)other guardian(s) of the child DOES NOT file a court application for a court order to prohibit the relocation within 30 days after receiving the notice.


If you meet the criteria above, you can move with the child on or after the date you set out in your written notice of relocation.


An important note regarding the delivery of the written notice: Ensure there is proof of delivery of the written notice in case the other guardian(s) later allege that they did not receive the required notice. The best practice is to have the notice served personally by a third party.



Exception to the Notice Requirement


According to Section 66(2) of the Family Law Act, the Court may grant an exemption from all or part of the requirement to give notice to other guardians or persons having contact with the child, if it is satisfied that:


1)notice cannot be given without incurring a risk of family violence by another guardian or a person having contact with the child, or


2)there is no ongoing relationship between the child and the other guardian or the person having contact with the child.


Book a FREE 30 minute consultation to discuss your rights and options respecting relocation with a child (commonly referred to as “mobility cases”). Our experienced family lawyers can assist you with understanding the law governing relocation with children, drafting and delivering the written notice of relocation, negotiating with the other guardian(s) if they object to the relocation, and if relocation is agreed upon, to help you and the other guardian(s) establish a new parenting arrangement and parenting-time