In the difficult determination of whether or not to accede to the proposed relocation of a child against the wishes of the non-relocating parent, the jurisprudence confirms the following four principles: • the court must maximize contact between the child and the parent within the limits of that which is consistent with the best interests of the child; • barring an improper motivation for relocation, there must be an attitude of respect for the custodial parent. In part, this means the relocating parent need not prove the move is necessary, although necessity for the parent may bear upon the best interests of the child; • there is no presumption in favour of the status quo as the default position; and • reliance by a judge on any expression by the parent seeking to relocate that he or she will not move if the child cannot accompany him or her is discouraged. See Hejzlar v. Mitchell-Hejzlar, 2011 BCCA 230 at paras. 23-27.
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