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What factors affect child custody modification approval?

Perhaps you have earned a promotion at work, but the new position involves relocating from Cincinnati to Columbus.

This will require asking for a modification of your existing child custody agreement. Will the court approve your request?

A little background

You have been divorced for three years and so far, the visitation schedule has worked well. You are the custodial parent for your 10-year-old daughter, but Annie sees her father on a regular basis. She has many friends, both at school and in her church youth group, and she seems to have adjusted well to post-divorce life.

In the view of the court

The court will consider child custody agreement modification due to a proposed relocation, but the judge will want backup information to support the request. Here are some examples of the questions the judge might ask:

  • What is your motivation for relocating?
  • How disruptive will this be for your child?
  • Have you and the other parent worked out a viable visitation schedule?

You should be ready to present a letter from your company that confirms your promotion and the need for you to move to Columbus.

Benefits of the move

You should also have information ready about the neighborhood where you and Annie will live, what school she will attend, what leisure activities there are in the area and what extracurricular activities there are for Annie to consider.

Changes to visitation arrangements

The change to your current visitation arrangement will be of primary importance to the court. Fortunately, Columbus is close enough to Cincinnati that you can work out a weekend visitation schedule. You are also open to the idea of Annie spending more time with her father during the summer and on certain holidays.

Professional assistance

In the state of Ohio, you cannot change your child custody agreement yourself: You must file with the court. It is a good idea to have an advocate in your corner who is knowledgeable about the law and the local court mindset to ensure that your modification request meets with success.

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