Parental relocation is often a significant concern for parents when they share custody of their children and one parent wants to relocate with the child. When the custodial parents wishes to relocate, it can create a child custody dispute that must be resolved.
Fortunately, the family law process provides resources to help parents and families resolve concerns related to parental relocation. Child custody can be greatly impacted by a parent’s desire to relocate and if a child custody situation is bad, it can be exacerbated by a relocation request. The family law court will always look to what is in the best interests of the child when considering a relocation request. In addition, they may also look to other factors such as distance and if the parent is seeking to move to a different city or move to a different state.
There are different ways a parental relocation request may be evaluated. It can be done by agreement and express consent of the parties which will usually be found in the original child custody agreement. It can also be done by providing notice and obtaining consent of the other parent. The parent seeking the relocation must provide good faith evidence that the relocation will lead to a better cost of living; that it is necessary for a job or pursuing an education; or that it will allow them to be closer to family to help them care for the child.
Parental relocation can create upheaval in a child custody arrangement and family which is why the family law court provides guidelines for addressing relocation requests. It is important for parents facing this concern to be familiar with how to address such a significant potential change in their lives and the lives of their children.