Relocating is part of life, but in a divorced family, that's made harder due to child custody concerns. As a parent with a job offer, you may want to move, but you need to make sure you do so legally. Here are four facts about relocating with your child.
1. Courts can object to a move
While many parents need to move because of a new job or opportunity, others want to move to get away from their exes. This isn't a good enough reason to relocate a child or to make it harder for the other parent to visit with his or her child. In fact, if the court finds that your reason for wanting to move is in bad faith, it can block you from taking your child to the new location.
The reasons courts do allow parents to move include moving for a new job, continued education, a better cost of living or to live closer to extended family who can help with childcare.
2. The visitation schedule may need to change
If you receive consent to take your child with you when you relocate, then the visitation schedule has to change. It's up to you to propose a new visitation schedule, including both the place and times when your ex can see his or her children.
Since you live further away, this might mean that your child visits your ex over extended school breaks or holidays to give the child more time with his or her father or mother. Remember that states sometimes require the moving parent to cover transportation fees associated with the move and the child's visits to see the other parent in the future.
3. Distance plays a role in changes
Of course, the distance you move makes a difference. If you move only 15 miles away, it's a different situation than if you move 150. A state court may object to you moving further than 100 miles, or it could object to you moving to a different state. Each case is different, and your attorney can help you state your reasons for moving clearly while showing it's in the best interests of your child.
4. Parents need consent to relocate a child
Parents do need consent to relocate a child. Failing to obtain consent can lead to parental kidnapping charges if a parent takes a child without the other parent knowing. For example, if parent A takes his child to Florida while parent B is in Ohio and assumes her child is in Ohio as well, this is a serious problem. When parent B realizes that parent A moved her child without permission, she can seek help from the courts, which may lead to charges for parent A and a change in custody arrangements.
Your attorney can help you if you want to move to help better your child's life. With good intentions and strong evidence for why the move is necessary, you can work to gain permission for a move.