Child Custody Relocation: What You Need to Know

Child custody relocation is a common issue after a couple gets divorced or goes through a separation. However, when a custodial parent decides that they wish to relocate with their child, it can cause major problems for the non-custodial parent. This is why it is important to inform yourself about the legal requirements that need to be met before you attempt to relocate with your child. In this blog, we explain what you need to know about child custody relocation.

What the Court Will Consider

When there isn’t a child custody agreement in place, a relocation dispute can arise if the noncustodial parent doesn’t agree to the relocation of the child. When this occurs, the courts will usually have to decide if relocating the child is in their best interest, or if the custodial parent should stay in the state.

When a relocation dispute is taken to court, the judge will generally rule in favor of not disrupting the child’s life any more than necessary. In fact, some courts will automatically assume that relocation is not in the best interest of the child.

Other courts might require a statement that describes a “good faith” reason for relocating. This is particularly true if relocating would disrupt the child’s education or cause emotional or social instability. Better cost of living, a new job, or continuing one’s education can all be considered good faith reasons for relocating with your child.

This means that the parent who plans to relocate will need to prove the merits of their move to the court. Courts consider the following things when ruling on a relocation case:

  • The Age & Maturity of the Child
  • The Distance Between the New Home & the Old Home
  • Will It Improve the Quality of the Child’s Life?

If you are planning to relocate with your child, you will need to create a plan before your court date. This means knowing school locations that your child can possibly attend as well as what activities are offered at your new location. You should also consider travel plans from your new home to a convenient location for the other the parent, as well as a visitation schedule that includes times and places.

Do you have more questions about child custody relocation disputes? Contact our Columbus child custody attorney to schedule your free consultation today.