Consequences for Both Parents when Relocating after a Divorce
In other states, the custodial parent must file a petition (written request) asking for the court’s permission to relocate. The court will likely set a hearing to determine whether the move will best serve the child’s interests.
Parents: Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate
Whether you’re the custodial or noncustodial parent, you’re more likely to reach an outcome you can live with by negotiating with your ex-spouse. Try to reach a compromise that allows the custodial parent to move while still maximizing the other parent’s time with the children. Perhaps the noncustodial parent could receive longer visitation periods during the summer and holidays, for instance, in exchange for an agreement not to fight the relocation.
Child custody mediation may help you reach an agreement without going to court. A mediator is an impartial third party trained to help people resolve difficult issues. In negotiating an agreement, it’s important to consider logistics. For example, you need to think about when your child’s school schedule would allow visits outside the local area, and who will pay for and arrange transportation for the children. The mediator will help you identify and resolve these types of details.
Relocating is a big decision for anyone. As parents, you need to understand the impact it may have on your child. Often, a divorce or separation is an emotionally traumatic event for a child: The prospect of moving away from one parent may be even more stressful. Work together to make the right decision for everyone involved.
Relocation cases are highly complex. If you’re on either side of a move-away case, you should speak to an experienced family law attorney in your area for advice.