Parental Relocation

When a divorcing couple is deciding on the parenting plan, they must consider the possibility that one of them may move. When a parent who has physical custody of a child relocates, this can raise serious problems. Guidelines for parental relocation are not nationally standardized, so the parents must be informed of the laws of their respective states. Parental relocation often includes court involvement.

Requirements for Parental Relocation

Since a custodial parent's relocation has significant ramifications on both the children involved and the other parent, it is generally not a quick and smooth process. Some states require the non-custodial parent to give a written approval of the relocation. In other states, it is required that the relocating parent give a notice of his or her move 30, 60 or 90 days before the move, depending on the particular laws of the state. In some states, the non-custodial parent must give his or her approval of the move. A parent who refuses to give approval, or disapproves of the move, can hinder the other parent from being able to relocate.

Depending on which state is in question, the court will look at how many miles away the relocating parent is intending on moving. Sometimes a judge will instantly rule out the move if it crosses state borders. In certain states, the relocating parent must provide the court with an objective reason why he or she is moving. This may be required so that the court can judge if the move is in the best interests of the child. The judge may either approve or disapprove of the reason. This objective reason is referred to as a good faith proof. Examples of a good faith reason are a change in job or the desire to live nearby one's family. The relocating parent may be required to come up with a list of approved times that the child may see the other parent.

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