This is an article which is meant to address the rules around moving or relocating with or without your children, if you are are separated or divorced and have children who are subject to a parenting arrangement with a former partner or spouse. Under fairly recently passed legislation or laws, you you must now under new laws enacted in Ontario, give a Notice of Relocation to your former partner or spouse 60 days before your planned move.

When Do You Have to Give Notice?

According to the Government of Canada, the Divorce Act and Moving Ontario Family Law Forward Act, have rules about giving notice about plans to move and you must serve a Notice of Relocation upon your separated spouse or partner. When you have a court order under for parenting responsibilities for a child (which means that you have an order giving you custody, access, parenting time or decision-making), you will have to give notice if you plan to move, with your children or without your children. Notice is required, if you are planning to 1) move your child or 2) move away from your child.

What is “Relocation”?

If the move would affect the child’s relationships with you or others in a significant way, this is a “relocation.” This is really in relation as well to the impact it will have on the other parent’s already agreed to or Court ordered parenting time. A relocation generally means the parenting time schedule for the child will no longer work because of the move. So, this could be for example, a situation where you have an arrangement with the separated partner or spouse for a specific schedule for their parenting time, and then your move impacts that for example such that it takes longer for pick ups and drop offs to happen, or the parenting arrangement just does not work because you are gong to live too far and your move will impact the children’s schooling or their ability to engage with other family members they are close to.

There are specific rules as to how such notice must be given and forms of such notice.

Here Are Some of the Rules:

There are also situations where it may not be safe to give such a notice, for example if it could lead to family violence. A court order can resolve this issue by ordering that such notice is not necessary in the circumstances.

  1. You must give notice to everyone who has a Divorce Act order giving them parenting responsibilities for your child(ren) (custody, access, parenting time or decision-making) or contact with your child(ren) under a contact order (contact orders may be made for someone other than a spouse or former spouse, such as a grandparent).
  2. You must provide notice to them at least 60 days before the date you expect to relocate.
  3. If you are planning to relocate your child(ren), anyone with parenting responsibilities for your child(ren) can object to the move. They have to object within 30 days of receiving your notice.
  4. A person with a contact order cannot object to your child(ren)’s relocation.
  5. If you receive an objection or a court application opposing the relocation has been filed, you cannot relocate the child(ren) until a court makes an order allowing the move.

To learn more about your rights and obligations to give notice if you are planning a move or relocation, call Separy Law PC today to speak to one our Top Toronto Lawyers.

Written by Ms. Solmaz Separy, Managing Lawyer