It is often not easy trying to juggle schedules to adhere to a court’s ordered visitation rights between a custodial parent and a non-custodial parent. Inconsistent work schedules and other obligations often require that parents work together to make sure that visitation rights are properly followed so that a non-custodial parent is granted the appropriate time with their child or children. But what if the custodial parent wants to move far away?
There are many factors that are taken into consideration with the courts if a parent wishes to move. As we have stressed many times before, the court’s primary focus is to assure a child’s best interests are met. If it is determined that a child’s best interests would be in jeopardy due to a move, the courts may require that a custodial parent remain close to the other parent. So how do the courts make this determination?
If an agreement was made during the divorce’s original child custody proceedings, it is possible that an express consent is granted to allow a custodial parent to move. If not, a parent must prepare a notice of an intent to move to the non-custodial parent within a certain time frame. These vary by state.
The courts will also consider the distance and whether it is within state or out of state. Even if the move is across state lines but still close, the courts may consider it a significant factor. Courts may also require a custodial parent to prove a good faith burden of proof. Examples of this could mean a better cost of living, a new job or moving closer to other family members. Courts may also determine that the move is done in bad faith, such as an effort to enact revenge on an ex-spouse.
Source: FindLaw, “Child Custody Relocation Laws,” Accessed June 26, 2017
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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