Sunday, November 22, 2015

Parent Seeking Relocation to Another State With Child



If you are a divorced or divorcing parent who is under the authority of a court and wish to relocate with your child, you may find that you are facing more than you bargained for.

Prior to accepting that new job in another state (or before considering a move outside your child's school district), you should:
  1. Read your divorce decree or other court orders about visitation and custody to see if there are restrictions about moving. Some decrees require the child to live in a certain county or school district. 
  2. Your court orders may require that you go to mediation before taking any action to relocate with your child.
  3. If you are unable to reach an agreement with your ex-spouse about your proposed move, you may decide to file a petition with the court to change the court orders. 
  4. The court will always look at the best interests of the child, rather than the desires or interests of the parents. 
  5. The court will generally assume that it is best for the child to have both parents involved regularly, rather than sporadically.
Although it is true that modern technology gives children and parents the ability to stay in touch more frequently, a judge may still deny a parent permission to move away with the child. Stability is very important to children, and the upheaval of leaving friends, neighborhood and school can be difficult, especially for a child who has already been through a divorce. 

However,  each situation is different. Some common reasons for a parent to seek a move with his/her child include a) inability to find employment in the current location b) necessity of relocation for current job posting or training c) service in the military d) helping to care for aging grandparents or other family responsibility e) health reasons.

A family law attorney can review your situation with you in a legal consultation and will explain what you can expect if you choose to file a petition to modify your decree in order to relocate.



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