One of the most difficult post-divorce issues arises when one parent wishes to relocate and bring the children. If you are the parent who wants to move, you may be convinced that you and the children need a fresh start somewhere else. If you are the parent left behind, you might wonder how you will retain an important role in your children’s lives from a distance.
Parents may not move away with the children without notifying the other parent. If the other parent objects, the parent who wants to move may have to take the matter to court. You will need a skilled child custody attorney to represent you in a relocation case.
A Junction City relocation lawyer could get to know you and your desired outcome. A dedicated legal professional could help parents negotiate a new parenting plan that supports their children, and that both parents can live with. If necessary, they could provide representation in court.
Process for Relocation
When a parent wants to move, and the other parent has rights to residential custody or parenting time, the parent who wants to move must inform the other in writing at least 30 days before the planned move. The parent must send the notice via certified mail. The parents cannot waive these legal requirements, and a parent must adhere to them exactly or their notice is ineffective.
If the other parent agrees to the move, the parents will likely need to modify their parenting plan. Courts favor plans that allow children to have significant relationships with both parents. If the parent who remains behind has been an active parent, the plan should provide means for the parent to continue to play an essential role in the children’s lives.
Parents could negotiate the changes to the parenting plan themselves, use a mediator, or work with a capable Junction City relocation attorney. A judge must approve a modification of a parenting plan and will do so if the parents agree to it and the new plan supports the children’s best interests.
Requesting Modification in Court
If a parent disagrees with a relocation, the parent who wants to change the custody arrangement—the parent who wants to move—must petition the court for the change. Kansas Statute Annotated §23-3222 does not favor or disfavor parents relocating with the children, but the petitioning parent must prove that the move serves the children’s best interests. A committed relocation lawyer in Junction City could help a parent make the case that their desired outcome best serves the children.
When considering whether to approve a move, the court may assess the parent’s reasons for moving or the other parent’s objections. If the objecting parent has not been significantly involved with the children, the court might assume that the objection is only to make things difficult for the parent who wants to move. If the moving parent does not have an excellent reason for moving, such as joining a new spouse or taking a much better job, the court might question their motives.
A court can deny a parent’s request to move with the children. The parent could then either remain or move but the children’s residence would shift to the other parent. The court could approve a move, and either adopt a parenting plan one of the parents submitted or devise a new one that allows the remaining parent significant time with the children.
Negotiation Often Produces the Best Results
If a parent has a legitimate reason for wanting to move, negotiating a new parenting plan arrangement is often worth trying. Although the remaining parent might have less frequent in-person contact with the children, agreeing to a move is sometimes better than opposing it and reintroducing tension into the relationship.
A new parenting plan could provide the parent left behind with longer stretches of parenting time during school holidays and over the summer. Regular chats over the internet or phone contact could replace some of the time the parent would lose.
Everyone benefits when parents can agree on how to handle a move and ensure both parents remain involved with the children. The children are spared the discomfort of their parents in conflict, and the parents retain control over how they will divide time with the children. An experienced legal professional in Junction City could help the couple negotiate a new parenting plan that accommodates the move but allows both parents substantial parenting time.
A Junction City Relocation Attorney Could Provide Legal Guidance
Discussions about relocation are triggering events for many couples. A Junction City relocation lawyer could help a couple negotiate a revised parenting arrangement to accommodate a move. If a parent objects to the move, a tenacious legal professional could fight for a parent’s desired outcome in court.
Do not try to manage a relocation without the assistance of a well-practiced attorney. Call now to discuss your case with a seasoned legal advocate.