Relocation applications and disputes are common disagreements for couples. If a parent wants to move away from the area they are currently living in with the children, especially if it involves a change of schools or will alter in any way current contact, the express permission of the other parent needs to be obtained, this is referred to as a guardianship decision and both parents must be agreed.
Relocation issues arise when one parent moves away with the children and refuses to return, the parent that has been left disadvantaged by this has two options, trying to resolve the issue through mediation or filing in court to have the children returned to the area they were in, or into their care, depending on the circumstances.
The easiest way for parents to handle these issues, so that courts are not involved, is to discuss with their former partner what is occurring, why the move is necessary and what will happen to the parents care arrangement and for both of you to reach an agreement and of equal importance, what will be said and done to make the transition, if agreed to, easier for the children to cope with this significant change.
We offer mediation to assist couples with these often difficult and complex issues rather than resorting to court.
However, there may well be complex dynamics to your relationship that make it difficult or unlikely that you can reach an agreement between you and we can discuss with you the court process and give advice on the likely outcomes on the merits of your case.
If you believe your children are going to be relocated to another country without your consent, then it is important to seek immediate legal advice as you may have to place a formal block at the airport through Interpol that will stop your child from being removed from New Zealand.
If your child is relocated overseas without your consent then Hague Convention proceedings may need to be initiated to have your child(ren) returned home to New Zealand.