Child Custody and Relocation

Another topic that’s important with regard to child custody is the idea of a parent relocating. A lot of times when parents split up, that can be the catalyst for one parent wanting to relocate. Maybe they’re just tired of kind of seeing all these familiar places that they shared with you, places you would eat, places you would go to. They don’t want to drive around town, those memories are haunting them. They’re ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe that parent just decides, “Hey, I finally have the opportunity to take that job opportunity that I never took before while we were together.” There are several reasons why a parent maybe wants to relocate, but it can have an impact on child custody.

First, if you do have an agreement or a court order in place on child custody, you want to actually look at that document before you make any decisions with regard to you moving or relocating. There may be some parameters in place that addresses a relocation.

Perhaps your agreement or your order states¬†that if either parents wants to relocate, they have to give a certain amount of notice, and then they’ll attend mediation or something along those lines. Look to your document to see what it says about either parent relocating.

Then you want to also be open with the other parent. It’s never good to hide the ball, or spring this on the other parent at the last minute. You want to be open with the other parent about this and start trying to work on an amicable solution to this relocation issue. Worst case scenario is that you’ll end up in court and then the Judge is going to have to make the decision.

Now if you do end up in court and you do want to move – and you are asking for primary custody, then you need to keep in mind what’s going to be important for you to tell the Judge, is why this move will be good for the child.

You don’t want to explain to the Judge, “This move is going to be good for me, and I want to take the child with me.” You’re going to want to couch that argument in terms of, “This move is going to be better for my child. It’s going to give me the opportunity to take a job where I’ll be making substantially more pay, and I’ll be able to provide more for my child. I need to move because this is going to allow me to be closer to the rest of my child’s family. He’s going to have a great relationship with his cousins and his grandparents, and his aunts and uncles.” Couch it in terms of what’s best for the child, not what’s best for you.

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