In this matter, a father applied to the court to have his 6 and 3 year old children returned to him after the mother relocated to Sydney.
Post separation, the mother had been the primary carer of the children, however the father always had a significant relationship with the children. The mother indicated to the father that she wished to relocate to Sydney with the children. Whilst the father had stated a number of times he did not wish for the mother to move to Sydney.
The mother moved the children to Sydney and enrolled them in a new school and childcare without the father’s input. During the court proceedings, the mother stated on multiple occasions that she was unaware of the father’s objections to her moving to Sydney with the children. However, the father provided evidence where he had asked the mother to not move to Sydney until they could discuss the issue.
The court ordered that the children were to be returned to the father. Whilst this meant that they could not live with their mother, who was their primary career, the court found it would be in their best interest to return to a location that was familiar to them and to a family member that they were familiar with. The mother was to spend alternate weekends with the children.
The mother appealed this decision and sought orders to have the children returned to her care. The mother raised concerns over the father’s current working patterns which would result in him being away from home for a week or more at a time. This meant that the children were left with their paternal grandparents when the father was away at work.
The court found that because of this, it was in the Childrens best interests that they be returned to their mother’s care. The court noted that whilst the move meant that the little children had a change of residence twice in a short period of time, returning the children to their mother would best serve their interests as opposed to stability in their present arrangement. The court ordered that the children be returned to the mother within 7 days.
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