If separated parents live in the same area, a situation can
arise where one of the parents, who has primary or shared care of
the children, wants to move elsewhere within New Zealand, or even
overseas. Can that parent take the children as well?
This is an issue that often comes before the Court. The question
about where the children live, in terms of moving to a new location
which is at a distance, is a guardianship decision. Therefore both
parents need to agree, even if the other parent only has the
children every second weekend for example. If both parents can not
agree and the other parent still wishes to move, that parent has to
apply to the Court to get the Court's permission to be able to
take the children to live elsewhere.
In looking at the matter, the Court will consider a number of
factors, but the overarching one is whether such a move is in the
best interests and welfare of the children.
The Court will consider the reasons for the move – for
is it necessitated by the parent entering into a new
relationship with someone who lives elsewhere, or
is it necessary to transfer for employment reasons, or
is it just a lifestyle choice?
The Court will need to consider the reduced contact the children
will have with the other parent if they move.
Each case will take into consideration its own particular
circumstances, but at the end of the day if the Court decides the
children can not move, the parent who wishes to move has to
consider whether to move, leaving the children behind, or whether
If you would like more information regarding this or any other
relationship matters, please do not hesitate to contact our expert
Relationships Team, we will be happy to assist.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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