Child Custody Relocation Laws

Child Custody Relocation Laws

When a custodial parent decides to relocate with a child it can affect everyone involved. It can complicate visitation and significantly change the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent.

It also causes significant problems on the already tedious child custody situation. This frequently forces a child to have a long distance relationship with the other parent.

If the relocation was not accepted by the two parties involved, it could result in a relocation dispute, especially if the noncustodial parent objects.  Relocation can affect the child’s custody and visitation rights.

In this situation, the courts frequently judge if the relocation contradicts the best interest of the child. In case it does, the custodial parent would not be permitted to relocate and would have to continue to remain in the state.

The laws about child custody relocation vary from state to state. Some state laws frequently specify requirements for relocating with a child.

Here are some requirements that the custodial parents have to fulfill to relocate with a child-

Take consent of the non-custodial parent

Most states permit child custody relocation so far as there is an agreement signed with the consent of the other parent. This is by standard carried out during the original child custody decision and is commonly present in a clause in the child custody arrangement.

Give notice to the non-custodial parent

A few states need the custodial parent to give notice in writing to the other parent. The notice should specify the intention to move within a certain time frame, ranging from one month to three months.

Additionally, a number of other states require the non-custodial parent to consent to the relocation plan.

Consider the distance of the place of relocation

A few state put the distance into account while deciding whether or not to allow the relocation. Sometimes the distance is still considered even when the relocation is within the same state. Some states are much more concerned about relocation that are outside the state even when it is just a bit across the boundary line.

Provide proof of “good faith”

A few states require the relocating parent to provide additional proofs like a statement explaining a “good faith” intention for the relocation. This is important particularly if the move will affect the child’s school, mental and social stability. Good faith reasons are things like: (1) cheaper cost of living, (2) proximity to the parent’s family to assist with childcare household tasks, (3) new employment which must be a real job offer, and (4) to further the parent’s education.

On the other hand, the court may refuse the move on “bad faith” reasons like desiring to move far from an ex-spouse in vengeance or reprisal.

Prepare a visitation schedule

In most states, the relocating parent must propose a visitation schedule, which must include the times and locations of the visit with the noncustodial parent in the new environment. The two parties may approach the court to modify the visitation or custody order due to the significant impact of relocation.

Cost of relocation

Some states may require the travel cost of the visitation to be shared equally by both parents. While some states require the custodial parent who is relocating to bear the greater cost.

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