Child relocation procedures

With divorce often comes the need for parents to relocate them and their child for new job opportunities, better living situations, or to be closer to family. However, parents must understand that relocating with their children can be challenging. As a legally binding court ruling, custody and visitation agreements must be considered when considering a move. In many cases, this means obtaining permission from the child’s other parent or the court before relocating with them. Failing to do so can result in legal consequences and potential challenges to custody agreements. 

It is essential for parents going through a divorce or facing relocation to seek guidance from an experienced family law attorney to ensure they are fully informed of their rights and responsibilities regarding relocating with their child. Our law firm can help you understand your rights and obligations with respect to relocation. We can also represent you in negotiations or court if necessary. We want what is best for our clients and their families and will work tirelessly to protect your rights.

If either you or your ex plans to move, which would, in turn, alter the terms of any agreements made during your divorce, the other parent must grant permission to relocate the child. It’s important to note that in some cases, the final divorce judgment may forbid either parent from taking the child outside a particular geographical area. 

If you’re considering relocating, most states require parents to provide written notification to a former spouse. This ensures that the other parent is given time to object to prevent altering the child’s relationship with them. If your proposed move severely impacts the amount of time they spend together, the other parent will likely not agree to it.

If you’re a parent considering relocating your child, follow the proper channels; if you don’t, you may be held in contempt of court and end up fined or jailed. If one parent objects to the relocation, a court hearing can be held to determine what’s best for the child. Always remember that the child’s best interests should come first when making relocation decisions.

Although the current custody agreement is crucial, the court will look at other factors when addressing relocation. The following for parents with shared or joint custody will be examined as part of a traditional best interests analysis.

  • If the child will have a better life due to moving, and if they will experience the same benefits as their parent from relocating.
  • If any negative impacts will come from changing the current visitation schedule.
  • If the child’s relationship with the parent who isn’t moving will be harmed.
  • If the child will experience any emotional, physical, or developmental issues because of the relocation.

When a parent with primary custody requests to relocate, the court will apply the “real advantage standard” in determining whether or not to grant permission. This means that the proposed relocation must offer a measurable improvement in the child’s quality of life. It must be determined that this benefit outweighs any detriment to the relationship between the child and the non-relocating parent. The primary custodial parent is typically responsible for providing day-to-day physical and emotional care for the child, meaning their well-being is closely tied to their custodial parent. As such, the court recognizes that relocating may offer significant opportunities and advantages for both the custodial parent and child. However, it is important to carefully weigh these potential benefits against any negative impact on the child’s relationship with the non-custodial parent and any practical barriers to maintaining an ongoing relationship. The real advantage standard sets a high bar for relocation requests while ensuring that the best interests of both parents and children are considered.

In certain circumstances, a child may be mature enough to share their own preferences regarding which parent they want to live with or if they desire relocation. The court may factor this into its decision-making process as long as it aligns with what is ultimately best for the child. However, it is important to remember that children are often influenced by outside pressures and may not always fully understand the situation. As such, the court must carefully consider all factors before determining whether or not to consider a child’s wishes during custody proceedings.

At Sawin Law, P.C., we understand the complexities of parenting in today’s world. Often, parents and their children face the difficult decision to relocate for better opportunities or to be closer to family. Our team of family law attorneys can help navigate the potential pitfalls that come with such a decision, especially when it involves a child and co-parenting arrangements. Contact our office today to discuss the merits of your case and how Sawin Law, P.C., can assist you in finding a resolution. We are dedicated to helping families create effective plans that work for all parties involved. Don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation with our firm.