I have a court order about parenting. Can I move with my child?

You can usually move without anyone's permission if the move is not likely to have a big impact on your child's relationship with your partner or anyone with , , or contact under a . These used to be called and .

For example, you can usually move without permission if the move doesn't:

  • change your child's school or daycare, and
  • impact anyone with rights to make decisions or spend time with your child.

But if your move is likely to have a big impact on your child's relationship with anyone with rights to make decisions or spend time with them under a court order, you need their permission or a new court order before you move. The law calls this type of move a relocation.

For example, moving to another province or country, or even moving to another municipality within Ontario may be a relocation.

Remember that it's usually best for your child to spend time with each parent. But there is no rule that each parent must spend equal time with the child.

Notice rules

There are rules about notice that you usually have to follow if you want to move with your child and your partner or another person has rights under a court order.

This might be the other parent who has decision-making responsibility or parenting time with your child. Or another person who is not a parent, but who has a to spend time with your child, such as a grandparent.

These rules say:

  • you must give notice to if you want to move,
  • the timing of the notice, and
  • that you need permission from that person or the court before you move with your child.

Before going to court, try talking to your partner, or the other person with rights to your child, to see if they will agree to the move. You can also get help from a family law professional such as a lawyer or mediator to help you resolve the issue out of court.

If you don’t have a court order

If you don't have a court order about decision-making responsibility and parenting time, these rules do not apply to you.

But if you have a , , or award, you must follow what it says about moving.

See I don’t have a court order about parenting. Can I move with my child? for more information.

Get legal help

You can talk to a lawyer who can help you understand what the law says you need to do if you want to move.

If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide “unbundled services” or “limited scope retainer” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case. For example, they could help you complete your forms, or prepare for a hearing.

If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

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