Our lives are more mobile now than ever before. A new job, family, and a desire for change can spur a move. While relocation can usually occur on relatively short notice, this might not be the case when you have a child who is subject to a child custody agreement. In these circumstances, you have to provide notice of the proposed move to the other parent and, if the other parent doesn’t consent to the relocation, take the matter to court. Before going to court, though, you need to know what the judge will be assessing when determining whether to permit the proposed parental relocation.
Factors considered in a petition for relocation
The court is going to look at a variety of factors before deciding whether to approve a move, so regardless of what side of the issue you fall on you need to be prepared to address these issues. Failing to adequately do so could have negative consequences for you and your child. Here are some of those factors:
- The purpose for the move and its reasonableness
- Whether relocation poses some threat of harm that could be avoided by a custody modification
- Whether there’s a vindictive motive behind the proposed move
The court can consider other facts as well, but the law generally allows for parental relocation unless one of the factors identified above is present. Of course, some of those factors, like threat of harm, are pretty broad and leave a lot of room for legal argument. That’s why you need to be prepared to address these factors with evidence to support your position.
Keep best interests in mind
It’s often helpful to keep in mind that matters related to child custody and visitation are focused on the best interests of the children. So, when making your arguments to the court you need to couch them in terms of why it’s beneficial for your child. Relocation for a new job, for example, is beneficial for you, but it might also allow your child to experience greater stability and opportunities on account of your increased income. On the flip side, relocation away from you might be harmful to your emotional wellbeing, but it also might have a profound impact on your child, especially if he or she is strongly bonded to you.
So this means is that there’s a lot at stake in these matters. There’s too much at stake if you don’t have a firm grasp of the law and legal arguments. Therefore, don’t risk facing these issues alone. Instead, think about having an experienced attorney help you fight for what is right for you and your children.