Sometimes, when parents have a child custody arrangement in place, one parent needs to move. This could be for a new job opportunity, family reasons, for the child’s education or just for a new start.
Relocation can impact the child custody agreement and the parent who wants to move must demonstrate to the court that it is in the best interest of the child.
It is important for the parent who wants to move to comply with the court’s requirements to relocate. If the parent does not, they could lose visitation or custody rights.
Usually, the non-custodial parent must first be notified of the intent to move and given an opportunity to object. The notice should be in writing and provide details such as where the new residence is located, the reason for the move, and may also include a proposed revised parenting plan. If the non-custodial parent objects, they can file a motion with the court.
The court may consider several factors, including the impact the relocation will have on the child’s relationship with both parents, the effect on the child’s education, social life and other community connections. It may also consider the child’s wishes if they are mature and can provide their opinion.
It may ask the parents to attend a hearing to provide additional information before making a decision. If the court approves the request for relocation, the parents will need to create a new custody schedule, arrangements for transportation, and decide who will bear the costs of travel.