We have previously spoken about some of the potential difficulties with child custody and adhering to child visitation orders as outlined by the courts. But what happens if the custodial parent wants to move?
Depending on the state you live in, there are several steps that must be taken and considerations that will be made by the courts. Like with all decisions regarding children in a divorce, the courts will do whatever possible to assure that the best interests of the children are always met.
If express consent was in the original custodial plan, the process may already be laid out. Otherwise, the custodial spouse looking to move may need to give written notice to the other parent of their intention to move.
The courts will consider several factors, including how far the parent is moving and whether the move is done in good faith. This could include but is not limited to a change or promotion of one's job, an improved cost of living or even moving closer to other family members. It is worth noting that the courts will also look to see if the move is done potentially in bad faith, such as retribution or out of revenge against the other spouse.
The laws can be complicated, so it might be in your best interests to reach out to a lawyer familiar with family law to learn how parental relocations are handled in your state and determine the best way to proceed. This could be beneficial to either a custodial parent wishing to move or a non-custodial parent with concerns about another parent moving their child or children farther away.
Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Relocation Laws," Accessed June 26, 2017