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What if a custodial parent wants to relocate with the child?

On Behalf of | Feb 3, 2024 | Divorce

When a parent wants to move with their child, it may cause problems between the parents. Understanding how the courts handle these cases is important.

Distance is key with a proposed move

Before a custodial parent decides to relocate with their child, there are several factors to remember. When there is a court order regarding custody, the child’s residence cannot be changed by more than 100 miles from the legal residence at the time of the order unless the court allows it.

Any obstacle to a parent moving with the child – regardless of the distance – may be mitigated if the other parent agrees to it or the court decides that it is good for the child. There are parents who are on good terms and are able to work through these issues on their own, coming up with a parenting plan that still works for them, even with a move.  Often understanding the reasons why a move is being requested is the first step to analyzing this issue.

If the parents do not agree on their own, the court will assess the situation and decide if the move is in the child’s best interests. Perhaps the child’s quality of life will improve because of the move. They might have more positive living arrangement, access to better schooling and medical care. Sometimes, while the move may be better for the parent requesting it, the court will determine that it’s not best for the child to be moved away from their other parent.  Even if a move is granted, the court will want to know that the parents have adhered to the parenting time agreement and the attempted move is not to interfere with the relationship between the non-moving parent and the child.

Both parents should understand the logistics of a relocation

Distance can be problematic when trying to adhere to the parenting plan. Not all parents are willing to alter the agreed-upon schedule to accommodate the other parent’s desire to move. For some, they simply need to alter the parenting time agreement to fit in with the new circumstances. Regardless, it is vital to be protected with this or any other area of family law.