Perhaps you are the custodial parent of sons aged eight and ten, and you will want them to continue living with you when you move across the state.
No doubt you look forward to the new job opportunity that drives the move, but how will the court view your relocation plans with the children?
Best interests standard
Most courts will assume that relocation is not in the children’s best interests. Therefore, as the parent planning to move, you must offer proof that your sons will benefit from relocation. On the other hand, the non-relocating parent must prove to the court why the move is not ideal for the two boys.
The court will expect you to notify the other parent as soon as possible about your intention to relocate with the children. In taking up your request for approval, the court will consider various factors:
- Whether you have a good faith reason for the relocation
- What the relationship is between your sons and the other parent
- How the move would disrupt that relationship
- How the move would impact the children’s development
- Whether the children will have access to quality home life and education as well as extracurricular activities
- What the financial impact will be on the family overall
- What new custody schedule do you propose
- What travel arrangements you will make for parenting time
Prepare to offer backup for the move, such as a letter from your employer confirming the job offer. Make sure you have information about schools and activities for your sons in the new community. Your attorney can help you develop a petition to the court that puts the best possible light on your plans for relocation with the children.