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A job opportunity, a desire to be closer to family or other reason may influence a parent's decision to move to another county, state or country. When parents share custody of a child, however, this can present complex legal matters that must be resolved. In the presence of a standing custody or visitation order, a parent and child may not be able to move a significant distance (the specific distance may vary depending on the jurisdiction) away without first taking certain legal measures. This may involve a petition to the court to modify an existing custody or visitation agreement, for example.
In determining whether to approve a petition for parental relocation, the court may look at a number of factors: the reason for the move, the child's desire to move and the potential benefits or disadvantages that the child may experience by moving. The court will try to make a decision based upon what is in the best interests of the child.