Child Custody Relocation
If you are planning a move or object to a move your former spouse is planning, our family law attorneys can help you prove your case in court. We can help you understand the legal parameters of your case and how the judge is likely to view your circumstances.
Relocation Custody Considerations
Changes in circumstances frequently lead to changes in parenting plans and custody arrangements. Relocating to a new home is one of those. However, relocation can cause a lot of turmoil. While the move may seem necessary and reasonable to one parent, the other may view it as an attempt to remove the child from their life or endangering the child’s best interests. If you are planning a relocation, it is best to work out the arrangements with your former spouse and the court prior to moving. Otherwise, your former spouse and, more importantly, the court may view the move as an attempt to undermine the parenting plan and court decisions could be biased against you. Your family attorney can help you prepare to argue the necessity of the move and subsequent change in parenting plan.
When deciding whether to approve a relocation and custody arrangement change, a judge will look at several factors. Some of these are:
Travel restrictions - Does the existing custody order and parenting plan restrict how far a parent can move? A parent who moves outside of a custody travel restriction could be held in contempt of court and risk having a bias against them in court.
Significance of the move - Does the move require or warrant a change in custody or parenting plan? If the move is just to a nearby city or otherwise would have minimal impact on the parenting plan, the court is not likely to change the parenting plan.
Best interests of the child - Will the move be advantageous for the child, such as facilitating an improved quality of life? Or will it diminish the child’s relationship with the other parent or cause the child unnecessary emotional upheaval?
Motives of the parents - Is the relocating parent moving with genuine intention to improve the child’s life or merely tying to diminish the relationship with the other parent? Is the objecting parent genuinely concerned about what’s good for the child, or just trying to hurt the other parent by putting a thorn in their plans?
Compliance with parenting plan/facilitating relationships - Is the relocating parent likely to comply with the court-ordered parenting plan and facilitate the child’s relationship with the other parent?