Can I move out of Victoria without a Family Law Court Order?

01 March 2013

Whether you are allowed to move out of your current home to a new place depends on a number of factors.  

Firstly, if you are taking a child outside of Australia, you can only legally do so if you have the consent of the other parent or if you have a Family Law Court Order allowing you to do so.

Movement within Australia (e.g. from Victoria to New South Wales) is not prohibited unless there is already a court order in place restricting such movement.  However, it is not advisable to move any significant distance unless you have given advance notice of your intention and discussed the issue with the other parent.  The reason why you should do this is that it is usually a requirement for parents to discuss matters concerning a child’s welfare and living arrangements before making any significant changes.  If no agreement can be reached regarding a proposed move, then counselling and mediation with an approved mediator should usually be the next option.  If you still cannot reach the agreement after mediation, then either party is entitled to issue a Court Application.

The Judge considers the proposals each parent makes with respect to the living arrangements for the child. However, the Judge has no obligation to accept either proposal and may make different orders if he/she considers this to be in the child’s best interests. 

The Judge will usually take into account:

  • The nature of the relationship between the child and each parent
  • The time the child currently spends with the other parent, and the effect any move is likely to have on the parent-child relationship
  • The proposals for the time which the child will spend with each parent
  • The likely impact of any move will have on the child leaving current friends, extended family and school
  • The wishes of the child
  • The age of the child
  • The effect which living in another state may have on a parent spending time with the child and whether the new place of residence is difficult (or expensive) to get to

Before you decide whether to move interstate with a child, it is essential get advice from a senior experienced Family Law Court Lawyer.

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