Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon: Relocation and the Costs of Exercising Access

TMZ has recently discovered that Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon have entered into a Separation Agreement. Included within the settlement are provisions for the support of their two children, as well as the couples' parenting arrangements.

Mariah and Nick reportedly share custody of the children, but the children live primarily with Mariah. Mariah has recently relocated from New York City to Los Angeles. She is also often on the road touring, and the children may be accompanying her. The Agreement provides that when Nick travels to exercise access with the children, Mariah pays for his travel and housing expenses.

In Ontario, the primary consideration that a Court will consider when one parent wishes to relocate with a child is the best interests of the child. Such a move will often negatively impact the non-moving parent, and as such, relocation cases can easily result in conflict.

There are no Federal guidelines for determining if relocation should be permitted or not, nor are there any at the provincial level in Ontario. As a result, Courts in Ontario rely on case law to make determinations in relocation cases.

However, British Columbia has recently enacted Relocation Advisory Guidelines which may be of some assistance or guidance to Courts in Ontario. Some of the key factors for consideration under the Relocation Advisory Guidelines are the current custody arrangements, whether abuse has occurred, whether the moving parent has acted unilaterally, and the wishes of the child.

Whether through negotiation or via court order, in cases where a parent is permitted to move with a child, particularly if that move is long distance, careful consideration must be given to how the non-moving parent will exercise access to the child. If the Court is ordering that a parent may relocate with a child, they may require the moving parent to transport the child to the non-moving parent to facilitate access, which may include bearing the costs of the transportation. If the parties are attempting to resolve the issue by negotiation, they may agree that as a condition of permitting the move, the moving parent will pay for or contribute towards the expenses that the non-moving parent will have to incur in order to exercise access with the child.

These kinds of arrangements will assist the non-moving parent with exercising regular access to ensure that they maintain a strong relationship with the child after the move.

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