Family separation is never easy, especially when you share children. In these cases, you may not feel truly separated from your former spouse due to the requirements of your custody agreement.
For example, post-divorce relocation is not as simple as giving notice and moving on. Often, the courts have a say in your relocation decision. Therefore, these are a few things you should know.
Agreement is often required
When you consider a relocation, immediately open the lines of communication with your co-parent. Discuss why you are debating such a move and when you plan to leave. Provide a detailed plan to address visitation or custody transfers.
Ask for written consent from your co-parent. If you cannot come to an agreement, you can seek mediation or file a petition with the court.
The best interests of the child are paramount
Judges focus on your child’s best interest as the standard in any custody decision. They will review the child’s schools, living situation, healthcare access, neighborhood safety and resources in the new location. You should have a valid and compelling reason for moving and prepare for discussions on whether your child will have family nearby and how often your co-parent will see the children after the move.
The judge will also gauge the impact on your children. If they are old enough, the judge may also ask what they prefer.
To succeed in your relocation case, put your child’s best interests first and follow the law. Judges do not look favorably on emergency custody petitions; if you move without proper permission, they could see your actions as abduction. Prepare yourself to fight the case by proving your need to relocate and understand that the cost of custody transfers may now rest on you because you relocated.