You recently divorced and now you want to move. Whether for a job opportunity, to get a fresh start or for other reasons, as a parent, you may need permission to relocate.
Understanding your legal obligations may help you avoid causing issues that affect your custody.
Giving notice of intended relocation
Except under certain circumstances, you must notify the court and your child’s other parent of your plan to move. According to state law, you must file a notice of your intention to relocate at least 30 days before you plan to move. Included in your notice, you must provide the date of your planned move, the new residential address, your telephone numbers and a brief statement of the reasons for your proposed move.
Fighting the relocation
If your child’s other parent does not agree, he or she may petition the court for a hearing. They must make their response within 20 days of receiving the relocation notice. In determining whether to allow you to move, the court will consider factors such as the following:
- The distance of the proposed relocation
- The reasons for the proposed move
- The reasons for disputing the move
- The hardship and expense the planned move would cost the nonrelocating parent
- The ability to preserve the parent-child relationship for the nonrelocating parent
Family law courts generally hold that maintained relationships with both parents benefit children. Therefore, in considering whether to allow you to move, the court will likely focus on how the relocation will affect your child, your child’s relationship with his or her other parent, and the ability of your child’s other parent to stay involved in his or her life.