The Divorce Act Changes Explained


Relocation authorized
(Sections 16.91(1) and (2), Divorce Act)

New section

Relocation authorized

16.91 (1) A person who has given notice under section 16.9 and who intends to relocate a child may do so as of the date referred to in the notice if

(a) the relocation is authorized by a court; or

(b) the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. the person with parenting time or decision-making responsibility in respect of the child who has received a notice under subsection 16.9(1) does not object to the relocation within 30 days after the day on which the notice is received, by setting out their objection in

(A) a form prescribed by the regulations, or
(B) an application made under subsection 16.1(1) or paragraph 17(1)(b), and

  1. there is no order prohibiting the relocation.

Content of form

(2) The form must set out

(a) a statement that the person objects to the proposed relocation;

(b) the reasons for the objection;

(c) the person’s views on the proposal for the exercise of parenting time, decision-making responsibility or contact, as the case may be, that is set out in the notice referred to in subsection 16.9(1); and

(d) any other information prescribed by the regulations.
Old section


What is the change

This amendment specifies that a relocation may proceed after the notice period has expired if either: 1) the relocation is authorized by a court or 2) there is no formal objection within 30 days of receipt of the notice and no order prohibiting the move. A person with a parenting order can object in two ways – either by way of a standard form or by bringing a court application.

The amendment lists the information that the non-relocating parent must provide and allows for regulations to require additional information.

Reason for the change

This provision clarifies when a relocation is permitted. Once notice has been given, the move can take place if a court has already ordered that it can occur, or if there is no formal objection to the move.

If a person with a parenting order objects to the move by way of court application, this will commence the process for a court to decide whether the relocation can take place. If, however, they object by way of standard form, the person proposing the move would need to bring a court application to seek permission to move.

British Columbia and Nova Scotia have similar processes, although the objection takes place by way only of court application.

By authorizing the content of the form by regulations, it can be readily modified as needed.


March 1, 2021.