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What if a custodial parent wants to move?

We all know that a divorce inevitably leads to significant changes in everyone's life following a divorce. Either one or both ex-spouses will move out of the home, though it is not uncommon for the custodial spouse to choose to stay in the home. This may be done to minimize the impact of the divorce on children from the marriage. Courts always focus on assuring that the best interests of the children are met; this is often done by allowing the custodial parent to stay in the home.

A situation may present itself where it is in both the custodial parent and the children's best interest to move. The courts understand that life may change and encourage someone to move, but if there are children involved including child custody agreement and visitation rights, things are not always easy.

If the child custody agreement includes an express consent for a custodial parent to move and a proposed visitation schedule, things may not be too difficult but, if not, a custodial parent must write a notice to the other parent in an effort to get approval for the move and a change in visitation rights.

If this is not granted, the issue may go to court. Courts will consider the reason for the move, such as whether it is proposed in good faith, and will also consider the distance and even whether it is crossing state lines. They will also consider the parent's new proposed visitation schedule.

There are many factors that go into this child custody and visitation decision. Regardless of which side of a potential move you are on, it might be in your best interest to speak with a lawyer familiar with family law for advice on how to proceed.

Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Relocation Laws," Accessed June 26, 2017

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