Parental authority: can a separated parent move freely?

Verified 02 September 2022 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

The parent who plans to move must inform before the other parent of the change of residence, if that change affects the conditions for the exercise of parental authority. This is the case, for example, if the parent moves to a remote area.


if the parent does not comply with this obligation, he or she may be punished with six months' imprisonment and a fine of up to €7,500.

Only a judge may, as part of measures to protect victims of violence, authorize the parent not to reveal his or her address.

In the event of disagreement, either parent may refer the matter to the Family Court Judge (Jaf) using the following form:

Application to the family judge (parental authority, right of access, maintenance...)

Who shall I contact

The Jaf still rules according to the best interests of the child. For example, the judge may determine the child's residence with the other parent.

Following the change of residence of one of the parents, the judge may also revise accordingly the financial charges of the parents, that is to say:

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