I have a court order about parenting. Can I move with my child?
Question & AnswerI have a court order about parenting. Can I move with my child?
3. Give your partner notice of your plans to move
You have to tell your partner, or anyone with rights to your child under a , that you plan to move with your child in writing. This is called notice. You have to do this whether or not you’ve discussed moving with them.
You must usually give notice to anyone with:
- or , and
- a , such as a grandparent.
The information you include in the notice depends on the impact the move will have on them.
If your move is not likely to have a big impact on your child’s relationship with anyone with rights under a court order, you don’t need permission from them or the court to move.
But, if your court order is dated March 1, 2021 or later, you need to give notice that you’re moving. Your notice doesn’t need to use a special form. But it must:
- be in writing
- say the date on which you expect to move
- give the new address and contact information for you or your child
You also need to give notice if your court order is dated before March 1, 2021 and doesn’t say anything about notice. But if your court order is dated before March 1, 2021, and it says you don’t need to give notice if you move with your child, then you don’t need to give notice.
You could still give notice if you want to, but you don’t have to.
Different rules apply if your move is likely to have a big impact on your child’s relationship with anyone with rights under a court order. For example, if you want to move to a different province and it would impact the other parent’s regular parenting time with your child.
The rules say you must give that person notice of your plans to move at least 60 days before the date you plan to move. And you need to get their permission or a court order to move.
You must also use a specific form to give notice of your plans to move. The form you use depends on the law your court order is based on:
- If you were before and have a court order under the Divorce Act, you must use this Notice of Relocation Form.
- If you have a court order under the Children’s Law Reform Act, you must use this Notice of Relocation Form – Person with a Parenting Order.
Both forms ask for information on:
- the date on which you expect to move
- the new address and contact information for you or the child
- what you plan to do about parenting if you’re allowed to move, such as how parenting time, decision-making responsibility, or a contact order will change
For example, your court order may say your child has to spend every other weekend with your partner. But if you move to another province, this may not be possible. So your plan might say your child will have regular video calls with your partner and also spend most of their summer vacation with them instead.
How to give notice
It’s important to be able to prove that you gave notice to your partner. The Notice of Relocation Forms have information in them about how to give notice. For example, you can leave a copy with your partner or send it by mail or courier.
When you don’t need to follow the notice rules
There are some situations when you don’t need to follow the notice rules. But you need to get the court’s permission if you want to:
- change the information you include in your notice,
- change how you give notice, or
- not give notice.
For example, if your partner has moved and you can’t find them, you can ask for a court order that says you don’t have to give notice. Or you can ask for a court order that says you can give notice by emailing the notice to the last email you have for them.
Or if you’ve been abused by the person you have to give notice to, you can ask that the court allow you to only give the name of the city you want to move to in your notice. You can get legal help and support if you’ve experienced abuse.
Step 5 has more information about going to court.