When a parent wants to relocate with a child, it can be problematic for the entire child custody situation. Because of how significant a request for relocation can be, it is helpful for parents to be familiar with the different aspects of a relocation request and what the court considers when determining whether or not to grant one.
When a relocation is sought, the court will look to what it always looks to when child custody concerns are being evaluated which is what is in the best interests of the child. The family law court will look at the impact of the proposed relocation on the existing child custody and visitation situation and determine what is in the best interests of the child. Based on that determination, the family law court will determine if it will grant the request for relocation or require the custodial parent to remain in the state and refuse to permit the relocation.
The parents can agree to the relocation based on notice and consent but if they are unable to agree, and one parent is disputing the request for relocation, the court will look at different factors when evaluating the request. The court will ask if the relocation is being requested because it would allow the parent to relocate to an area with a better cost of living; allow the parent to begin a new or better job; allow the parent to continue their education; or the relocation is so the parent will be closer to family members who can help with child care.
The court will also consider the distance associated with the request and if there is a good faith reason for making the request to relocate with the child. Tensions can sometimes run high in child custody and relocation request situations which is why it is helpful for parents to know what to expect from the relocation request process.