When parents are divorced and have a joint custody order in place, there are requirements they must follow if one or both need to relocate. A relocation may be necessary for several reasons, including for new job opportunities, better schools or to be closer to family and friends.
Notification and considerations
The parent who wants to relocate must notify the other parent as soon as possible after deciding to move.
Because moving a child can be disruptive, the parent may want to consider how it may affect the child’s development, the financial impact of the move, how to facilitate the child’s ongoing relationship with the other parent and whether there are any alternatives to moving.
Best interest of the child
The parent should never move the child without notifying and receiving consent from the other parent. If the other parent consents, it’s helpful to have a written consent agreement that can be presented to the court. If the other parent does not consent, there may be an opportunity for the parents to participate in mediation.
Also, the parent who wants to relocate will need to demonstrate to the court that the move is in the child’s best interest. The court may consider several factors to determine this, including the child’s health and safety, the existing relationships the child has with his or her school and community, family connections and if the child is old enough to decide, his or her opinion.
An experienced attorney can provide guidance and representation for relocation and related family law matters.