Our society has become increasingly mobile over the past several decades. As a result, parents often seek to relocate away from the other parent after custody has been determined. Such relocations can wreak havoc on family relationships.
Since the laws vary broadly, it is extremely important for a parent seeking to prevent relocation with children to know, understand and follow the detailed rules to prevent that relocation. If the custodial parent fails to follow the rules, it can often result in a change in custody. State laws often spell out requirements which may include:
A parent seeking to relocate must generally notify the other parent well in advance of a move. The timelines for that notification are specified in many state laws. Those same laws also provide specific instructions regarding the information that must be included in the notification. In states that require notification, the other parent may also usually file an objection to the relocation or file a Motion seeking to prevent the relocation
Yet other states require not only notification, but consent of the other parent to allow the move. In the event the both parents do not consent, often the parent seeking to relocate most bring a motion seeking permission of the court. This often would include a request for a change in custody.
Often state statutes spell out factors that a court must consider when determining whether to allow children to relocate away from one parent. Some factors courts consider when making determinations to allow or disallow a move include:
One truism is that if the Court allows the relocation, it often requires the party moving to pay more of the transportation costs related to visitation. This cost issue should be raised in any hearing as well as a request to change custody if the parent responsible for the transportation contemptuously fails to follow the court's orders. In the even the non-custodial parent does not prevail, a finding in that regard may change those fortunes if the moving parent fails to follow through on their obligations.
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