How is parental relocation handled following divorce?

Parental relocation can be a hot button issues for divorced couples after their divorce. What happens if one parent wants to relocate following divorce is an important concern for divorced parents to understand.

It is important for divorced couples not to relocate without the consent of the family law court which will evaluate a relocation request based on a variety of factors. The custodial parent of the child may be prohibited from relocating if the family law court determines it is not in the best interests of the child which is the standard for all child custody   determinations.

Ways a parental relocation may be granted

Parental relocation may be granted per the following conditions:

  • Express consent in a child custody agreement – parental relocation may be permitted if the original child custody agreement contains a provision allowing for parental relocation and a proposed visitation schedule if the custodial parent relocates with the child.
  • Notice and consent – parental relocation may be permitted if the custodial parent seeking to relocate provides the required notice and the noncustodial parent does not object.
  • Distance-based determination – parental relocation may be permitted if the distance it would create falls below a certain threshold.

What is the good faith requirement?

The relocation must be made in good faith. To determine that it is, the family law court may consider factors including:

  • The proposed move is to an area with a better cost of living;
  • The proposed move will bring the custodial parent closer to family that can help with child care responsibilities;
  • The proposed move is for the custodial parent to start a new job or obtain a better job; or
  • The proposed move is for the custodial parent to continue their education.

Parental relocation may come up at some point because life understandably changes following a divorce and the establishment of a child custody arrangement. As a result, divorced parents faced with a possible move she be familiar with how such a request is evaluated.