This is an interesting decision which involved the Mother’s proposal to relocate two hours away from the Father and whether the parties 11 year old came with her or not. The Mother was the child’s primary carer and the child lived with her and spent time with the Father each alternate weekend and one night in the other week. The child’s time with the Father was also dependant on his working shift roster. The Father opposed the child’s relocation and proposed that should the Mother relocate then the child should live with him. The Independent Children’s Lawyer also opposed the relocation. The evidence before the Court suggested that the Father would need to rely on help from other’s including a neighbour to look after the child given his working commitments. The child expressed strong views that she did not want to relocate and that she wished to remain at her current primary school.
Judge Altobelli agreed with the Independent Children’s Lawyer that “in the circumstances the question was not so much what was in the child’s best interests, but what was the least of her worst options.”
Judge Altobelli ultimately found that “Whilst the case is finely balanced, the Court believes that the least of the worst options is, in fact, the child relocating with her Mother.”
Judge Altobelli was critical of the Mother for prioritising her needs ahead of the child and stating that she would relocate without the child and in circumstances where the child had expressed a strong wish that she did not want to relocate.
The case concluded on the basis that the child ultimately remained in the care of the Mother.
Nicholes Family Lawyers has extensive experience in international, interstate and intrastate relocation applications and we encourage you to contact us should you have any queries.