The Court of Appeal has recently decided a family law case, Berry v. Berry, which discusses the issue of parental mobility. The decision reminds Ontario judges, family lawyers and separated parents that children, in most cases, should have maximum contact with both parents and decisions involving the child should minimize the amount of disruption for that child. The decision also states that judges should only consider the parent’s reasons for the relocation in exceptional cases and when parent’s reasons are considered, it should be looked at from a child-centered perspective. In this case, the Court of Appeal reversed the trial judge’s decision to allow the mother to move to Kingston from Toronto with her 4 year old son. The move would have changed the father’s visits significantly. The mother requested to move because she lacked family support in Toronto and wanted to be closer to family to assist with the child’s severe medical issues.
The Court of Appeal ultimately decided that there was no evidence to establish that the move was necessary in order for the mother to meet the needs of the child. The Court believed the mother was a good parent, no matter where she lived.