Child custody is often a difficult arrangement, to begin with. When you add in a possible relocation, it can complicate the process. What is best for the child? What are the laws regarding relocation and child custody? While laws vary by state, the following are a few considerations to take a look at if you find yourself in this situation.
Often during a divorce, there will be an agreement in place that expresses consent beforehand. This agreement usually pertains to relocation and what a visiting schedule would look like should relocation take place. Some states only allow relocation with a child if express consent is part of the original child custody plan.
Notice and Consent
Notice and consent require the custodial parent to provide to the other parent a written notice of his or her intention to move with the child. Time varies by state, though some states require this notice to be given at least 30 days prior to the move. The noncustodial parent then has the option of consenting to the decision or objecting to it.
Long Distance Considerations
In some cases, it’s not moving between states that’s the issue. If the custodial parent wants to move a certain distance, while remaining in-state, it could be denied. Similarly, a custodial parent who wishes to move two miles over state lines could get the go-ahead because both parents already live so close to the border. Each state takes these individual cases, looks them over, speaks with both parents, and makes long-distance determinations for the specific case.
Good Faith Burden of Proof
Some cases regarding relocation and child custody require a good faith burden of proof. What that means is the relocating parent would have to show proof that the move is the best situation altogether. In addition to being in the child’s best interest, good faith reasons could be the parent continuing his or her education, receiving a job offer that would improve life for the child, moving to an area that is more affordable, or moving closer to family members who could help care for the child.
Receiving Direction from a Lawyer
There’s a lot to consider when someone wishes to relocate with a child. Both parents are put in a difficult situation which often affects visitation schedules and modification of the existing custody agreement. If you find yourself in this situation, no matter what side you’re on, get in touch with a family attorney, like a family attorney in Tampa, FL, who can give you direction on what to do so that you can do what’s best for your child.
Thanks to The McKinney Law Group for their insight into laws regarding relocation and child custody after a divorce.