When a custodial parent (the parent with who the child resides with) relocates with a child, it can create added hardship on an already difficult child custody situation. This usually makes co-parenting challenging. Forcing a child to have a long-distance relationship with their own mom or dad.
Should the custodial parent relocate, a relocation conflict can arise because it may impact custody rights and visitation. This typically happens when there is no agreement between those involved.
Can You Move Out of State Following a Divorce With Children?
That depends. When you have legitimate reasoning for moving, you will have to petition a judge for consent to take your child out of state. The judge is going to consider a lot of aspects and decide whether to permit you to move your child out of state. But if you disregard the court order and move your child without acquiring the court’s approval, you are going to face considerable consequences.
Is Moving in the Child’s Best Interests?
When challenges like this a rise, courts decide if child custody relocation is in the child’s best interests. When not, they have the requirement that the custodial parent to stay in the state or reassign custody to the other party when they do move.
Child custody relocation laws differ greatly state by state, particularly when it comes to the below:
- Relocating with a child Requirements
- What notice needs to be provided
- If there are any consent requirements
State laws also differ concerning what assumptions courts can apply in a case.
Declare Consent in your Child Custody Agreement
A lot of states only allows child custody relocation when there is a custody agreement in place that includes a condition allowing relocation and a suggested visitation schedule. This usually takes place throughout the initial child custody hearings and is typically contained within a provision in your child custody plan.
Other states have laws that address the stipulations for relocation.
Notice and Approval for Relocation
A lot of states require a custodial parent to provide notice (typically written) to the non-custodial parent of a planned move within a specified period of time (for instance, thirty, sixty, or ninety days in advance of a planned move).
As well as the notice stipulation, some states also require the non-custodial parent to either approve or oppose by filing a motion seeking to disallow relocation.
Distance-Based Custody Decisions
Many states permit a child custody relocation on a distance basis. For instance, say the new location is a given distance away (for instance—, over 75 miles), the court may reject relocation even when within the same state.
Other states might consider any move out of the state a considerable factor, even when it’s merely across state lines.
Added Requirements: Good Faith Burden of Proof
Many states additionally require the relocating parent to provide a statement declaring “good faith” reasoning for the move and explain how that reason warrants the inherent disturbance to the child’s school program and emotional and social balance. Good faith reasons for a move could include the chance to:
- Live in a location with a better cost of living
- Live closer to relatives that can help with childcare responsibilities
- Begin a new job or get a better job
- Proceed with one’s education
Nevertheless, the court may oppose to a relocation based on “bad faith” reasoning, like wanting to move further away from an ex as payback or revenge.
Many states may also take into account the non-custodial parent’s reasons for opposing to child custody relocation. For instance, a court may potentially find in the custodial parent’s favor and permit the move if the opposing parent:
- Did not routinely exercise their visitation rights
- Was otherwise a neglectful parent
Visitation Plan, Travel Expenses, and Adjustment of Child Custody
In just about every state, the relocating parent is required to do the below:
- Suggest a visitation schedule, comprising of the times and places for visitation with the non-custodial parent in the new location. This might include access times throughout major holidays, spring vacations, and prolonged visitation throughout the summer months.
- Seek a court adjustment of the custody or visitation decree (if there is going to be a significant change to the existing order).
In terms of increased travel expenses, some states necessitate a 50-50 split in increased expenses. Other states might necessitate the party that is moving to incur most of the transportation expenses associated to visitation or impose those expenses on the non-custodial parent when they are not current on child support payments. Since the laws vary considerably from state to state, it may be required to contact a knowledge family law attorney near you that can help you learn more concerning the child custody laws in your state.
Can You Move Out of State Throughout Divorce Proceedings?
Possibly. The courts make decisions based on what is in the child best interests. That typically means having both parents reside in the same state with joint parenting time and avoiding needless disruption in the child’s life. This helps guarantee the child’s relationship with both parents remains strong.
But if you can demonstrate that the move from your home state is within the best interests of the child, the court may permit it. Nevertheless, you typically are required to file a motion with the court and get permission before relocating with your child.
It’s also important to remember that custody is going to be decided in the state in which your divorce was filed (and where your child resided in the 6 months before to divorce), regardless of where you and the child are going to live.
Learn More Concerning Child Custody Relocation Laws from a Family Law Attorney
There are a multitude of reasons why you may want to relocate with your child, but when there is child custody decree in place, your freedom to relocate can be limited. If you wish to relocate time has come to get legal advice. Get a hold of a a child custody attorney near you and discuss your circumstance and discover more about the laws concerning child custody relocation in your state.
Staff, F. L. (2021, December 29). Child custody relocation laws. Findlaw. Retrieved January 4, 2023, from https://www.findlaw.com/family/child-custody/child-custody-relocation-laws.html