What factors must be considered when dealing with whether children should be moved thereby necessitating changes in the access order?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from C.H. v. G.T., 2004 BCSC 1043 (CanLII):

In dealing with the factors which must be considered when dealing with whether children should be moved thereby necessitating changes in the access order, the Court in Gordon v. Goertz (1996) 1996 CanLII 191 (SCC), 19 R.F.L. (4th) 177 (S.C.C.) set out the following summary of the matters which should be considered: (a) the parent applying for a change in the custody or access order must meet the threshold requirement of demonstrating a material change in the circumstances affecting the child; (b) if the threshold is met, the judge on the application must embark on a fresh inquiry into what is in the best interests of the child, having regard to all the relevant circumstances relating to the child's needs and the ability of the respective parents to satisfy them; (c) this inquiry is based on the findings of the judge who made the previous order and evidence of the new circumstances; (d) the inquiry does not begin with a legal presumption in favour of the custodial parent, although the custodial parent's views are entitled to great respect; (e) each case turns on its own unique circumstances. The only issue is the best interests of the children in the particular circumstances of the case; and (f) the focus is on the best interests of the children, not the interests and rights of the parents.

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