In certain situations, a custodial parent may want to move out of state with a child. Reasons for a relocation often involve job opportunities, to be closer to family, or other extenuating circumstances. Given the significant affect this would have on the noncustodial parent’s visitation and parenting rights, the courts have implemented procedural requirements to protect those rights. If under an agreement or court ordered custody arrangement, a parent cannot unilaterally decide to move out of state (or 100 miles or more away) with the child. Prior to relocation the relocating parent must meet certain procedural requirements and seek the court’s permission. In this assessment the court will always look to what is in the “best interests of the child.”
If you are a custodial parent thinking of relocating with your child, it is important that you speak to qualified legal counsel before you move. Failure to meet certain procedural requirements before the relocation can result in a change in your custody rights and even criminal charges.
Alternatively, if you are a noncustodial parent who is faced with the relocation of your child, it is crucial that you seek immediate legal representation. Time will be of the essence in order to secure and protect your parenting rights.