Divorce is difficult, even in those scenarios where the end of your marriage brings you some degree of relief. But your life will go on and bring you new opportunities. Oftentimes those opportunities will not only impact you, but also your children (and even potentially your ex-spouse).
A relocation is a perfect example of this. Many clients come to us here at Judd & Moss, P.C. asking if it is possible to relocate with their kids after a divorce. Typically the court will not specifically bar you from moving; it will, however, review your custody situation.
Preparing for a relocation
You can try to control the modification of your custody agreement by working with your ex-spouse in advance of your move. If the two of you can come up with your own revised agreement, the court will typically reward your efforts and accept that. Your move may make it more difficult for your ex-spouse to maintain their current custody schedule (or, at the very least, keep in consistent contact with the kids). Thus, you being willing to minimize whatever burden they assume due to your move might make them more willing to collaborate with you to come up with a new arrangement.
Determining what is best for the kids
If, however, your ex-spouse chooses to contest the move, the court will have a hearing to determine how to modify your agreement to both accommodate your move and allow your ex-spouse to keep seeing your kids. According to the New York City Bar, factors used to determine these changes include:
- Your reason for relocating (and your ex-spouse’s reason for disputing it)
- The quality of life you both provide for the kids
- How the move might impact your kids’ lives and your ex-spouse’s contact with them
You can find more information on dealing with custody issues throughout our site.