Sometimes, parents need to move for a job, for their education or may choose to move closer to family and friends. If parents have a child custody agreement in place, the move may be more complicated.
Child custody overview
Child custody is determined by the court and is decided based on the best interests of the child. The court considers several factors, including the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s age, the physical and mental health of each parent, and the child’s social connections.
If the child is old enough to understand the concept of relocation, the court may take the child’s opinion into consideration as well.
If one parent wants to move, they must notify the other parent. The notice must include specific information about the proposed move, including the reason they want to relocate, the new address and how the move will affect the proposed child visitation schedule.
The non-relocating parent has a right to object to the move. If they do, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether the move is in the child’s best interest. The court may focus on how the move will either support or deteriorate the existing relationship the child has with the non-relocating parent.
The court may treat moves inside the state differently than moves outside of the state. If the court does not find that the move is in the child’s best interest, it may deny the request.
It is very important that the parent who wants to move follows all court requirements and does not take the child to another location without permission. If this occurs, it could cause the parent to lose custody of the child.