Can you move out of Connecticut with your child post-divorce?

When parents in Connecticut divorce, they will establish a child custody and visitation plan, with the aim of allowing the child to spend meaningful time with each parent. However, life is ever-changing and sometimes a custodial parent will want to move away with the child. For example, the custodial parent may get a better job in another area of Connecticut or even out-of-state. Or, the custodial parent might want to relocate to be closer to family. It is important to understand what is required of parents who want to relocate with their child.

If either parent wishes to relocate with their child post-divorce in a way that would significantly affect their current parenting plan, the parent wishing to relocate has the burden to prove the following. First, the relocation must have a legitimate purpose. Second, the location being proposed for the move must be reasonable given the proposed legitimate purpose. Finally, the move must be in the child’s best interests.

There are numerous factors courts in Connecticut may consider when deciding whether to approve a request for relocation. One is each party’s reason for wanting to move or opposing the move. The quality of the relationship the child has with both parents is another factor. How the move will affect the quantity and quality of the child’s contact with the non-moving parent may be considered. How the relocation will enhance the relocating parent’s and child’s life financially, emotionally and educationally is a factor. Another factor is the feasibility of making new, suitable visitation arrangements between the child and the non-moving parent in a way that allows the non-moving parent and child to preserve their relationship with one another. Other considerations may be made as well.

Parents may have what they feel is a good reason to relocate with their child post-divorce, but it is important that they do so through the appropriate legal channels. Such moves can have a big impact on the life of a child. Therefore, it is important that any relocation decisions made are in the best interests of the child. Family law attorneys can provide advice to parents who find themselves in such situations, which this post does not contain.