When parents separate or divorce and share decision-making responsibility and parenting time (formerly “custody” and “access”) with respect to their child(ren), it involves compromise on all sides. However, when parents are able to act collaboratively, they can often find a parenting arrangement that works. But what happens when one parent wants or needs to relocate further away, affecting the other parent’s ability to spend time with their child? Life inherently involves change, and numerous factors may cause a parent with physical custody of a child to move further away from the other parent. However, a parent should not make a unilateral choice to move away with their child(ren) when there is another parent to consider, and depending on the status and involvement of the parents, a unilateral move may result in expensive litigation. In these circumstances, the parent seeking to relocate will need to proceed with a mobility application.
At Mincher Koeman, our dedicated family law lawyers have extensive experience in helping clients with respect to mobility issues. We work with clients in an effort to find an agreeable resolution outside of court whenever possible, but when a court application becomes necessary, we are more than equipped to advocate on their behalf. Whether assisting with making an application in court or representing a parent opposing a mobility request, we will work to resolve any mobility dispute as efficiently as possible, keeping the best interests of the child in mind at all times.
A mobility application is an application made by a parent to a court for an order granting them the right to relocate along with their child(ren), despite the objections of the other parent. If the parents are able to come to an agreement regarding a new parenting plan themselves, an application before the court is unnecessary. We believe independent resolution is always the most desirable outcome, as it not only saves significant costs and time for all parties, but it is also the best way to preserve a positive dynamic between a child’s parents, which serves the interests of each family member.
However, mobility can be a particularly tricky issue, as it most often will require one parent to spend significantly less time with their child than they did under the previous arrangement. Not only is this unpleasant, but it may also lead to a permanent change in the parent/child relationship owing to greater geographical distance and a reduction in contact. Given the significant change in the resulting family dynamic, mobility applications are often, and understandably, inherently emotionally charged proceedings.
There are a number of factors at play when it comes to granting a material change to an existing parenting arrangement. In any decision affecting the physical custody of a child, a court will always aim to maximize the contact between the child and each of their parents. The court will weigh a number of considerations when deciding on a mobility application in the context of the specific circumstances, including:
The Calgary family lawyers at Mincher Koeman have extensive experience serving parents on both sides of the mobility issue. We will always strive to find an amicable and swift resolution outside of the courtroom, but when that is not possible, we will work to present a persuasive and thorough case in court. We are passionate and dedicated advocates with experience in all levels of the Alberta court system, and we work tirelessly on behalf of our clients. If you are facing a mobility issue, please contact our office to make an appointment to discuss your matter with one of our lawyers today by calling us at 403-910-3000 or by contacting us online.
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Canmore, AB T1W 2A2
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