What to know about relocation when you share child custody

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Child Custody

After a divorce, you might have a whole new outlook on your future. For some people, that new outlook means relocating to find new jobs, support systems or experiences. However, complications and obstacles can arise if you share child custody.

Under these circumstances, relocation can take more cooperation and communication than you might expect.

If you’re the parent wishing to relocate

If you wish to relocate to a new state or country, know that you cannot just up and move when you have a custody order. Moving away with your child requires the permission of either the other parent or the courts. 

Depending on your situation, you will need to submit appropriate relocation forms. After this, your ex will have the opportunity to object or propose a new parenting plan. If there is no response or your ex objects, the courts will decide whether the move is in your child’s best interests.

If you’re the parent objecting

You may not like your ex or have any desire to see them, but you could be well within your rights to object to their relocation – especially if they want to move away with your child.

Under these circumstances, you have options, depending on your wishes and the details of your current parenting arrangement:

  • You could object to the move itself based on your belief that it is not in your child’s best interests or would cause more harm.
  • You could request approval from the courts to change the custody order.

Even if your ex plans to move without your child, it is still crucial to consider how it can affect your child. Will your child miss out on spending time with their other parent? Who must cover expenses for your child to travel to see them?

Understanding the ramifications of relocation

Moving away from or with your child takes a tremendous toll on them and you. Relocation can make it difficult or even impossible for a child to spend meaningful time with both parents, creating a host of challenges. 

Thus, whether you wish to relocate or your ex does, it is not a decision to make lightly or without the help of legal counsel.