What If The Custodial Parent Wants To Move With The Children?

While going through a divorce, it is not uncommon for one spouse to move to a new city or state. If the parent moving is the custodial parent, this can complicate the custody arrangement between both spouses. If you are the non-custodial parent and do not agree with the decision to move, you have legal options available to ensure your voice is heard by the family court.  

What Can You Do?

Once the custodial parent notifies you that he or she wants to move to another location with the children, you have the right to agree or object. If you agree, you and the other parent can work together to create a new custodial agreement. Your attorneys can submit the agreement to the court for approval.  

If you disagree though, you can attempt to convince the custodial parent to stay. If he or she is unwilling, you can file a petition with the court to request a relocation hearing. The hearing will determine whether or not the custodial parent can move with the children.  

What Factors Are Considered by the Judge?

During the hearing, the judge will hear testimony from both parents about the move. The custodial parent can explain to the judge why the move is necessary. For instance, he or she could inform the judge that the move is for a job.  

As the non-custodial parent, you are also given the opportunity to explain why you do not agree with the move. Your reasoning for objecting to the move has to be sound. If the judge determines that your objection is for anything but the best interests of your children, he or she could side with the custodial parent.  

In addition to the testimony, the judge will consider your relationship with the children, how the move will impact your children, and whether or not maintaining the current visitation schedule will be possible after the move.  

What Is the Possible Outcome?

It is important to remember that the children are the judge's top consideration. Depending on the circumstances, the judge could decide that it is in the best interests of the children to remain where they are now. This does not mean that the custodial parent cannot move. It simply means he or she cannot move the children.  

There is also the possibility that the judge will agree to the move. If he or she does, modifications to the existing visitation schedule are possible. For instance, the judge might agree to allowing you more time with the children during the summers to account for the loss of regular visitation throughout the year.  

Once the custodial parent has notified you of his or her intentions to move, consult with your divorce attorney. He or she can review your custodial agreement and determine what options you have. Check out websites like http://madisonlf.com for more information on divorce law.