It would be unreasonable to expect that a parent would stay in the same location the rest of their life. That is why the courts allow for relocation in shared custody matters. It still requires lengthy paperwork and convincing court arguments, but take heart that there is a legal solution for your potential move.
There is no doubt that these are some of the most disputed cases in family court, however. When the custodial parent needs to move to another location, it often brings up issues of concern for the non-custodial parent, as they will no longer be able to see their children the same amount of time. While some cases only involve a small commute added to a parent’s drive to see their children, other situations involve a custodial parent moving across the country. This is when things get complicated.
Factors Considered in a Relocation Case
Child custody agreements will generally revolve around what is in the best interests of the child. When an original custody case includes a consideration for relocation, the court order will develop a plan based on the child’s needs. However, when a relocation occurs following a custody order, it is on the shoulders of the person seeking to move to prove why this move is absolutely necessary and that the move will not impair the child’s relationship with the other parent.
When deciding whether to allow the relocation of a child, the court will consider:
- Child’s relationship with their parents
- Benefits of the new community
- How the move will affect the parenting of the child
- Overall reasons for the move
- Stability and structure
- Maintenance of long-distance visitation
- Effect of the relocation on the child
Generally, long-distance custody agreements give one parent less-frequent, but longer visits with a child. The idea of a longer visitation period makes up for the amount of time the child may get to see their parent during the year. In addition, if the person that moved away also has custodial care of the child, they may be required to pay for the travel expenses required for the child to visit the other parent. However, there is no uniform method employed by the court when making this decision.
The primary concern in any child custody decision is what will benefit the child. There are many reasons why moving to a new location can be in everyone’s best interests, which should be outlined to the court in a custody case. If you are preparing to move and wondering how this will affect your custody agreement, speak with an attorney at David McCormick Law Group.