When a couple chooses to divorce or are not married, one parent’s decision to move out of state may require court approval. Relocation can have a drastic impact on the non-custodial parent’s relationship with their children. While relocation is complicated, there are times when moving will offer significant benefits to the children and the custodial parent.
If the non-custodial parent does not approve of the move, the court will have to hear the case and evaluate the appropriate factors and the need for the proposed change. Building a case for or against relocation will require an experienced Bethesda relocation lawyer. Only a dedicated divorce lawyer can help you to learn more about your legal rights and options.
Relocating and Child Custody Concerns
Sometimes a parent might have a better employment opportunity in another state. Courts may find that the move would greatly benefit the child because the parent would be able to provide an improved quality of life. Those benefits might outweigh the drawbacks, but sometimes the improvements in finances may not be enough to justify the move.
If the parent has a strong support network of extended family in another location, the court might also find that scenario a benefit to the child, but that may not be enough to take a child away from the other parent. Of course, many factors will lead courts to deny a request to relocate. For instance, if the non-custodial parent has a court order for custody and access and is involved in the child’s life regularly, the courts may not want to interfere with the continuation of that relationship.
Also, if the relocation will prevent regular visitation with the child, the court may view that as a negative and may deny the custodial parent’s right to move. If the child is involved in their community, this also might work against one parent’s desire to move. A skilled Bethesda relocation attorney can help a parent understand the issues that will impact an attempt to move.
Parents Seeking to Move Must Provide Notice
Before a custodial parent can move out of a state, they should provide at least 90 days’ notice to the other parent and the court. The notice requirements provide the opportunity for the other parent to challenge the move.
The court understands that there might be times when families might have to move out of state in less than 90 days. In those cases, the parent should still notify the other parent as soon as possible. The prompt notification can help defend the parent in the event that the court takes action against them for their late notice.
Working Out a New Schedule
If the court does find that the move is in the child or children’s best interests, the parties must work out a new parenting schedule that provides the non-custodial parent with ample parenting time.
In some situations, the children will spend the bulk of their time off of school with the non-custodial parent. The visitation might include less frequent visits but for longer durations. Financial considerations are also important in these circumstances because the visits might involve costly travel arrangements.
Of course, a parent will always have the right to relocate, but taking the children is the issue that makes the relocation a challenge. Courts may believe that the best decision would be to make the non-custodial parent the custodial parent if it means the children can stay at their same school and in their community. Each case is different, and parties on either side of a dispute will need to find a Bethesda relocation lawyer to represent them.
Hiring a Bethesda Relocation Attorney
Custody disputes are complicated. The terms of a divorce settlement or custody award might make sense at the time of the decision but later become unworkable. But complying with the Court Order is a requirement. Moving out of state is a major change that may warrant a review of the terms in any divorce documents.
It is important to note that a move may also impact child support obligations for the parties. Numerous issues are involved in relocation efforts. Parents should not attempt to address these situations without the assistance of an experienced Bethesda relocation lawyer.