Permission to move not required

by | Jun 2, 2022

Court of Midden-Nederland, The Netherlands
9 June 2021, ECLI:NL:RBMNE:2021:2432

A parent does not need (replacement) permission to move, if the child does not move with him.

The parents have joint custody of the child. The child is registered at the mother’s address. Parents are carrying out co-parenting. ‘Co-parenting’ is not a legal term. Parents often use this term when they share care (almost) 50/50.

The father wants to move out. He is going to live an hour’s drive away. The child has already indicated that he does not want to move with him. The mother asks the court to order the father to move. She feels it is burdensome and unfair that the care and upbringing now falls largely on her, whereas previously it was shared between the parents.

The court considers that a parent is free to choose their place of residence. This is only different if a child moves with him. In that case the move would limit the mother’s authority and her access to the child. Then a restriction on father’s right to move freely would be justified.

In this case, the child will not move with him. The father is moving without the child and he is free to do so.

The court does emphasize that it is in the child’s best interest for the parents to make arrangements for the child and father to have access to each other on the weekends.

It is understandable that the mother finds it difficult that the upbringing suddenly rests (almost) entirely on her shoulders. Perhaps the mother could have considered asking the court to enforce the existing care arrangement, on pain of a penalty, in order to persuade the father to continue living near the mother.