Gladstone & Aitken 2014 FCCA 475

Parents separated when the child was 3 weeks old, and the hearing was held while the child was an infant.  The mother asserted that she had no support network in the city and applied to relocate to a country town where she did have a support network, where the town was a 5 hour drive from the father’s residence.  A consultant advised against relocation on the grounds that this would restrict contact with the father to a fortnightly basis and would reduce opportunities for an attachment relationship to develop with the father.

The judge ruled that a parent who wishes to relocate does not have to provide compelling reasons to prove the argument.  The judge found that a meaningful relationship flourishes due to the quality of time spent together and not only by the quantity of time measured by days.

The judge ordered that the mother be permitted to relocate.