Canadian Journal of Family Law

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Thirty-eight mothers in Australia who wanted to move with their children were interviewed about their reasons for wanting to relocate. Forty men, all of whom opposed the mother's move, were also interviewed about what they perceived the mother's reasons were. There were nine former couples in the study. Most women had more than one reason for wanting to relocate, and there were quite often disparate reasons. Women's reasons mainly focused on relationships with family or potential new partners. Conversely, men were more likely to perceive the real reasons as being related to financial issues, jobs, and lifestyle. The article explores the possible explanations for these gender differences, including poor communication between the parents, strategic explanations of reasons in the context of litigation, and differences between what women say and what men hear. In the light of this evidence, the article considers the role of the court in examining the ostensible reasons for relocation.