Your divorce is going to change many different areas of your life, and you may want a fresh start once the process is complete. This is a normal feeling, and you might believe that the best way for you to accomplish this goal is to move. In fact, you may believe that a move to another city or state would be the best step for your future, and you intend to take your child with you. However, there would be some hurdles between you and that objective.
Relocation with a child after a divorce is not always as straightforward as you may hope. There could be specific challenges standing between you and your goals, including the terms of your custody order. Before you make any decisions that could impact your child’s future, you will benefit from understanding how relocation works and what steps you need to take if a relocation is best for you and your child.
Before you plan your move
You cannot simply move with your child after a divorce if the other parent has visitation or custody rights. While you may be able to relocate, there are likely limits to where you can go or how far away your child can be without the court’s approval. Consider the following facts about relocation after a divorce:
- If there is a legitimate reason to move, the court will have to give approval.
- The court will consider permitting a relocation, especially if there is evidence that it is in the best interests of the child.
- If you are the custodial parent and want to move, you may have to give notice to the other parent.
- The other parent has the right to contest a relocation, especially if it impacts his or her parenting or visitation time.
- A relocation may require you to make a change to your visitation schedule that allows the other parent to have adequate time with your child.
If you are considering a relocation, it is in your interests to understand how you can seek the court’s permission to do so while protecting the best interests of your child. If you are unsure of what your rights include or how you can pursue the ideal outcome to your case, you may benefit from discussing your options with an experienced professional before you make any important decisions.