- What is required in order to seek relocation from the judge?
Ok here is a list of what you will need to gather.
• Keep a diary! You will benefit hugely from this, and you can actually take it on to the stand with you when you finally get into court – provided it’s been updated consistently throughout the separation. Notes and papers can’t be taken on to the stand. A diary is a great way to recall dates and incidents at the drop of a hat, if need be.
• Keep a record of the contact the child has had with his/ her father. Make notes of when scheduled contact dates were cancelled, or if there were any other incidents involving the child. All of this information will help the judge form a clear picture of how active the father has been in the child’s life.
• Research the line of work you are going to do in order to provide for yourself and the children. Having a job already lined up in your home country would be ideal, but it’s not essential. Knowing your earning capacity in your specific line of work would be useful, too.
• Collect photographs and information that will explain your plan. This should include where you are going to house your child upon relocation.
• You’ll need an application form, or an acceptance letter, from your child’s future school.
• You’ll need to have a plan to cover any of your child’s medical bills.
• You’ll need a breakdown of costs. Indicate how much it will cost to cover you and your children’s daily expenses in another country for food; electricity and water rates; insurance, petrol; school fees; and after-school activities.
• Create a standard-of-living plan. If you are to be successful in your bid to relocate, you will be required to put together a plan to replicate the child’s current way of living, or even to better it. The child’s standard of living can’t be seen to be compromised in any way.
• A psychologist’s assessment. A psychologist will also need to carry out a thorough investigation to assist your case when going before the judge. This will consist of meetings with each parent and a meeting with each parent along with the child. The psychologist will also need to interview a list of ‘collaterals’ that must be put forward by each parent.
All of the gathered information will help the judge make a decision about your relocation. The most common types of evidence used in a custody battle/ divorce case are: Journals; texts; financial records; photographs; school records; and medical reports. It’s extremely difficult to convince a judge to grant relocation. It’s also hard to convince a judge to separate a child from their father/mother. You will need to have a very strong case. However, it’s been done plenty of times before, and if you truly believe that it’s in the child’s best interests to relocate, then follow your heart and your instincts. At least you will be able to say that you tried.
If the judge refuses relocation, it will be because he/ she did not believe that relocation would be in the child’s best interests. Ultimately, we all only ever want to do what is best for our children, even if that means that we sacrifice some things ourselves. If you do decide to apply for relocation, I wish you all of the luck in the world.