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Time To Move On: Coping With Child Custody When A Move Is Planned

When it comes to divorce issues involving children, the best arrangements may not be appropriate forever. Children grow up and become more independent and the parent's life can change over time too. A move may or may not be in the child's best interest, so read on to learn more.

Custody Choices

Parents get to choose from an array of custody and visitation arrangements when they divorce. Some parents opt to split things up 50/50 with each parent getting as close to equal amounts of time as possible. The other popular custody choice is having one parent be the sole physical custodian of the child for most of the time. The other parent is not left out, though, when a fair visitation plan is created. When a parent has sole physical custody, they may have more power to make changes and that might include moving away to another city or state.

May Parents Move?

The law varies in each state with some addressing moves within the parenting plan or custody agreement. In many cases, parents are not free to move without the agreement of the other parent and sometimes the court. In many cases, moves may be inconvenient but allowed.

Moving to Improve the Child's Welfare

When the non-custodial parent disagrees with the move, a court hearing can clear things up. It's better to move with the court's blessings than to move and go against visitation orders. It may also anger the court when the move effectively deprives the child of time with both parents. To convince the judge, the move should be in the best interest of the child. That might mean:

  1. To improve the economic situation of the parent and child. For example, a higher-paying job is waiting in a new city.
  2. To improve the health of a child. That might include cases in which the child needs cleaner air or other health and environmental conditions are better for the child.
  3. So that the child can be closer to medical facilities and doctors to treat a serious or chronic health condition. For instance, the child may suffer from a rare form of cancer and treatment requires spending a great deal of time in another location.
  4. An older child might have an opportunity to attend school in another location that specializes in certain interests or needs.

To learn more about how your divorce degree will affect future moves, speak to a family law attorney.