Although a divorce or separation from a partner does allow you to start a new life independent from them, it does not necessarily grant you complete freedom. If you share child custody or visitation rights with a former partner, you may be limited in your ability to relocate if your move would impact their rights to see and care for the children.
In many cases, relocating after a divorce requires a family court to review your situation and adjust your child custody agreement accordingly. Let a seasoned custody attorney from our firm represent your interests before a MoCo judge. A qualified Montgomery County relocation lawyer can ensure you follow all applicable legal procedures and demonstrate to the court that your move would be in the best interests of you and your child.
How Do MoCo Courts Decide whether Relocation is Allowed?
Generally, parents in our area who share custody or visitation rights cannot move out of the state without good reason. Local courts tend to evaluate and consider several common rationales for relocation, including a new job, being closer to extended family, or the start of a new marriage or long-term relationship. Any situation that entails a material change of circumstances could be used to justify a move with the help of a skilled lawyer.
However, any reason a parent has for relocating will not supersede the best interests of their child. If a parent’s proposed move would result in a child losing contact with an established social network, missing out on future opportunities, or being unfairly separated from their other parent, it is unlikely that a judge will approve the relocation.
Unless both parents agree that a relocation is acceptable, these matters are typically settled through family court hearings. In these scenarios, both sides present cases for or against modifying an existing child custody order to allow for the proposed relocation. Assistance from a local attorney can be valuable in effectively presenting a relocation case before a family law judge.
Requirements for Relocating Children away from Their other Parent
In addition to justifying a move based on their child’s best interests, a parent seeking to relocate may also be ordered provide written notice to their co-parent. Unless notifying the other parent would create a risk of harm or urgent financial issues necessitate a shorter time frame for relocation, parents who want to relocate away from Montgomery County will then have to provide no less than 90 days of notice before their intended move.
The relocating parent must send this notice by certified mail and provide as much information as possible about their proposed move, including their prospective new address and contact information. If the other parent wishes to contest the move, they must do so within 20 days of receiving this notice. A knowledgeable MoCo lawyer can provide clarification on what specific forms and information may be required for a proposed move.
Learn More from a Montgomery County Relocation Attorney
If you want to relocate and share child custody with a former partner, you will need to jump through a few legal hoops. Failure to provide proper notice of your intended move or obtain court permission to change your custody arrangement may lead to significant negative consequences. You could even lose custody or face contempt of court charges.
A Montgomery County relocation lawyer can help you understand the process and work toward an outcome that benefits you and your family. To schedule a consultation about your relocation case, call our firm today.