Ninemsn reports, in an article called “Court’s leash net -love Mums”, that internet dating has caused a crisis among estranged fathers and is more likely to result in relocation applications. The article says that following separation, women often pursue internet dating, which results in them wanting to leave the area and relocate to meet with an internet lover who may live far away.
The article says that men’s rights activists complain that the “mother wants to go off in the wild blue yonder with someone they hardly know and take the children interstate and sometimes overseas”.
The article discusses a Federal Magistrates Court matter in Newcastle where a mother of a three year old girl sought the Court’s permission to move from Sydney to Queensland to meet with her 25 year old internet lover. The father protested, saying that this would disrupt his relationship with the child.
On the one hand I think that women and men should not be stopped from finding love and relocating to start relationships. On the other hand obviously whenever relocation occurs it does potentially mean that a child will be uprooted and will also have a limited relationship with the other parent that they are not living with. A large distance between parents makes having a meaningful relationship with both parents difficult for a child.
However this is the same conundrum that Courts face when one party wants to relocate for whatever reason, whether it’s for a new job or a new partner they have met online.
The article does not provide hard statistics to indicate whether separated mothers are any more likely to be users of internet dating. Arguably it is understandable that separated people with children are more likely to find online dating appealing as they may not have the time to invest significant amounts of time in new activities to meet new people. Also internet dating may be less daunting than face to face dating for those who have been in long relationships and are nervous about re-entering the “dating game.”
Even if separated mothers are more likely to engage in internet dating, it is not possible to limit women (or men) from meeting new people online.
If either you or your former spouse are considering moving to a new area and you would like some advice regarding the law surrounding relocation please do not hesitate to contact us at Armstrong Legal on 9261 4555.