Relocating with your Child
In an increasingly global society, the number of international marriages and families have increased. In the event of a breakdown of a relationship or marriage, a common occurrence is a wish for the party with care and control of the children to relocate with the children.
If your spouse is agreeable to the relocation, there will not be a need for any application in Court. However, more often than not, the relocation is contested and the Court has to make a decision they deem to be in the children’s best interests.
Application for Relocation
If there are already divorce proceedings or court orders on custody care and control, this can be done by way of a summons under the main proceedings. If there are no court orders in place, this can be done by way of an Originating Summons.
Both applications will need to be supported by an affidavit citing the reasons for the relocation and why it would be in the children’s best interest.
There is no hard and fast rule on whether one can relocate with the children.
The court will consider the factual matrix of each case but the main factors that the Court does take into account are as follows:-
- Needs of child and availability of resources in proposed location of relocation. i.e., Will the relocation be in their best interests?
- Connecting factors to Singapore and long-term plan for child
- Reasonable wishes or needs or the primary caregiver
- Loss of relationship with the left-behind parent
Past cases have shown that leave to relocate have been granted in some common scenarios:-
- Trailing spouses
- Loss of employment
- New spouse has to relocate for work
Plans to relocate which have been rushed into or are not well thought out will not result in much success. The paramount consideration of the court remains the welfare and best interest of the children.
As such, you will need to ensure that your application is clear, concise and covers all the relevant details that the Court should consider such as a thorough care plan.
For your best shot at a successful relocation application, you may wish to engage the services of a specialized family law firm to be able to support you with the best strategy and advice in this trying time.