Child Custody and Relocation

child custody

No one can avoid divorce and we do not expect it to happen for any reason. One partner typically leaves the marital residence when a couple decides to separate.

The freedom to move on to better things comes with the end of a relationship, but for parents, it does not always mean being able to physically move away, for instance, for a new job or love interest. Parents who are relocating with their children must first meet a number of legal requirements.

Relocation with Legal Custody of a Child

The decision to relocate will vary from case to case and be governed by the court order that the judge issues following the divorce and custody matter.

The information must be provided in the notice:

  • The new address
  • The reasons for relocation ( live closer to family members, change employment, wish to remarry, or simply want a fresh start)
  • New Contact Information
  • What changes can be made to the parenting plan or any contact plan if the relocation occurs to accommodate a child’s relationship with those receiving notice?

This is reasonable, but it might involve interactions with the court to obtain the consent required for the child’s relocation.

In these situations, the family court in question and the parent staying put must notify each other in writing within 90 days of the proposed move. There is an exception to this provision when moving is necessary for financial or other important reasons, when adequate advance notice is given, and when the parent moving can convince the court that providing such a warning could expose them or their children to potential abuse.

The non-moving parent (or non-moving parent) has 20 days after receiving the notice to approve or object to the relocation. Parents must provide written conditions of their agreement to the court. The parents may change child custody or visitation schedules.

The court expects parents to try to work out issues involving their children, including a child’s possible relocation, by using out-of-court processes such as negotiation and mediation, unless it would not be appropriate. A judge may also make a decision that one or both of you do not like.

Factors should be discussed when determining what is in your child’s best interest:

  • How to provide the non-moving parent with some of the lost parenting time if the relocation occurs, such as by giving them more time during the summer and other school breaks?
  • Is it possible to delay the relocation until the child is older?
  • Would the other parent be able to relocate as well?
  • Could the partner move in with the child instead of the parent if the move is to join the parent’s new partner, keeping the parenting schedule the same?

After then, the court will schedule a hearing and receive a petition from the nonmoving parent seeking to halt the relocation. If the agreement is unfair or if both parties are unable to come to an agreement, the judge will assess those revisions and make any necessary changes.

The possibility if you disagree with the intention to transfer

  1. Giving the other individual detailed information about your objection will allow you to object. You can see all the details you need to put in your objection on the Objection to Relocation form;
  2. To stop the move, you can file a court application.

You can only relocate the kid once the court issues an order approving the move if you have received an objection to relocation or a court application contesting the relocation has been filed.

Factors that the judge will consider for relocation:

  • Whether the child in question is under one parent’s physical and legal custody or if both have joint legal custody.
  • Maintaining parent-child connections and opportunities in the future for the child’s lives
  • The child’s age, gender, and health
  • The child’s physical, moral, and spiritual well-being
  • The environment and current surroundings for the children live.
  • Any prior visitation, custody arrangements, or child custody agreements that were made.
  • Each parent’s character and reputation
  • Any possible disruption of the existing child visitation arrangement that may develop as a result of the move.
  • If relocation interferes or is intended to interfere with the nonmoving parent’s visitation rights

The nonmoving parent might have increased access to the children during summer vacations, school breaks, and holidays if the judge allows the relocation. The non-moving parent may take custody of the child if the judge determines that staying put is in the child’s best interests.

Based on the best interests of the child, the court will decide whether to authorize the relocation at the hearing. Remember that neither parent bears the burden of proof in this situation.

Divorce relocation with custody parenting is challenging, and an experienced lawyer can help you. If you or someone you know is considering moving and requires the help of a divorce lawyer. Connect with us and schedule a free consultation.