Relocating to a new state is a major life change, but it’s sometimes necessary. Maybe you’re moving because you got a job offer in another state, you want to be near a sick relative, or you’re getting remarried. Whatever your motivation for relocating, if you intend to bring your child with you, you must comply with Kentucky’s child relocation rules.
Inform your co-parent about the move
Even if you are the custodial parent, you cannot just pack up and leave. Your ex has rights too. As per state law, you need to provide your co-parent with written notice at least 60 days before you make the move. The notice requires you to place your new address and check if the move will affect your court-ordered time-sharing.
Negotiate an agreement with your ex-spouse
Getting your ex-spouse’s consent will make the process much smoother. It might help to explain how this decision is good for your child’s best interests. If you’ve been resisting their requests to take your child on a trip or vacation, now is a good time to allow it. Reaching a compromise is better than battling it out in court.
If your ex-spouse isn’t on board with the new arrangement, then you will have to involve the court. Either you or they must file a motion for change of custody or timesharing 20 days after serving the notice. You cannot legally relocate your child without an agreement or a court order.
Going to court
Things don’t always go as planned. If you need to take your case to court, prepare to present your side. The court is likely to consider the following:
- Reason for moving
- The child’s wishes
- The child’s relationship with each party
- How the move may affect the Kentucky-based parent’s relationship with the child
- The distance of the new location
One of the most crucial things to consider is how your child feels about the move. If they feel good about it and will benefit from the relocation, so will you. The judge’s decision will hinge on what’s in the child’s best interests and how strong your argument is.