The US population is very mobile. The average person will move several times and for a variety of reasons. A new job, a new love in another state, or simply a desire for a new perspective are all reasons for relocation. However, when you are a divorced parent, it is not so easy to pick up and go.
If you are a divorced parent and considering a move out of state, you cannot just pack up and move. You must consider many factors such as your child’s well-being and best interests, your ex’s rights, and whether you will have to ask permission from the Court. There are complicated laws that arise in these cases. For that reason, if you are considering relocating with your child, you will want to speak with an experienced attorney.
Know Your Rights When It Comes to Child Custody
Whether you have already divorced or are just starting the process, you need to know how your custody arrangement will affect your freedom to move.
Typically, joint legal custody is the Court’s standard because it protects both parents constitutional rights to parent their children. Under a joint legal custody arrangement, parents have an equal say in matters like as education, health care, religion, and other vital aspects of parenting decisions. Thus, the non-Primary Residential Placement ’s position about your move will determine whether it will be an easy or hard process.
The Court will consider factors like the non-Primary Residential Placement ’s desires, the amount of parenting time that your child enjoys with them, and the child’s other close family connections in your area.
Another factor that the court will look at is the residential placement of the child. If the parents have a shared residential placement, then relocation will be difficult. If, on the other hand, you are the Primary Residential Placement, and the non-Primary Residential Placement has less time with the child then your chances of success are increased.
Legal Guidelines When the Primary Residential Placement Is Relocating
No less than 30 days before the anticipated move, the Primary Residential Placement must provide the non-Primary Residential Placement written notice sent via certified mail. If the non-Primary Residential Placement does not agree, then your next move should be to file a Motion To Relocate with the Court.
File a Motion to Relocate
If the non-Primary Residential Placement is not in agreement to the move, you will need to file a case in Court. This is particularly true if your move will reduce the non-Primary Residential Placement’s parenting time. After all, if your move means that your child will miss their parenting time then the non-Primary Residential Placement can request a change to become the primary residential placement.
To be successful in your case, you must show that the move will benefit your children while minimizing the negative impact on the non-Primary Residential Placement. Plus you may need to modify the parenting time in a manner that gives the non-Primary Residential Placement more time during summers and holidays.
Legal Guidelines When the non-Primary Residential Placement Is Relocating
If the non-Primary Residential Placement wants to relocate, they are free to do so as long as the children are not relocated. Their move, however, is a significant event that may entitle them to modification of their parenting time to maintain their relationship with their children. The move by the non-Primary Residential Placement will likely mean that the children have time with them in their new home, even if that is in a different State or country.
Learn More by Scheduling a Consultation with an Attorney
Moving is a major event in a child’s life that could have positive or negative side-effects. Whether it is you or the non-Primary Residential Placement that is considering relocating, the best interests of any children involved must be considered above all else. If you have questions about the legal process or your parental rights, get in touch with an experienced lawyer at our firm today.