Ours is a mobile society. People move from place to place for a number of reasons, including family and employment. Disputes over child custody, however, can significantly restrict when and to where a parent can move.
When a custodial parent wishes to move away from the child’s home city and retain primary physical custody, that parent must show that the move is in the best interest of the child. The parent must also show that the move will not inhibit the other parent from exercising his or her normal custodial rights.
Courts will look to the normal factors delineated in Idaho Code 32-717 in determining whether a move is in the best interest of the child. However, recent court cases indicate that the court can look to a number of different factors to determine the best interests of the child, including the opportunity to be around extended family, increased emotion support, increased stability, and the familiarity of the child with the new location.
Case law seems to indicate that the burden is high for custodial parents to prove that a move is in the best interest of a child. Therefore, it is important to seek competent counsel before pursuing or defending such a course of action.
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