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The court can weigh in on whether you can move with your child

On Behalf of | Apr 19, 2024 | FAMILY LAW - Child Custody

During the initial stages of a divorce, the court establishes a custody order based on the circumstances at the time. However, circumstances can change. One significant change may involve relocating with your child. If you plan to move, consider the following legal aspects before proceeding.

Factors that influence child custody relocation decisions

Relocating isn’t simple. It can impact custody and visitation arrangements. As such, the court weighs in and considers several factors before approving a move. The court will assess the potential effects on your child, including:

  • Reason for the move: The court needs to understand why you plan to relocate. Be ready to provide a compelling reason. For example, if you’re moving to be closer to family who can assist with childcare, the court might view this as a positive reason.
  • Impact on the child’s relationship with both parents: The court will analyze how the move will influence your child’s relationship with you and the other parent. If the move appears to limit the other parent’s access to the child, the court may not approve it.
  • Effect on the child’s quality of life: The court will also examine how the move will impact your child’s quality of life, considering factors such as schooling, social ties and health care access.

It would help if you were prepared to state why you need to move. If the court determines the move isn’t in your child’s best interest, it may not approve the relocation.

Remember, the other parent can oppose the relocation

When you file a request to modify the custody order because you wish to relocate, you’ll use a specific legal form known as a ‘modification request form.’ On this form, there’s a section where the other parent can express their opposition to the relocation. They can argue the move isn’t in the child’s best interest, just as you are asserting your right to relocate. This can lead to a tug-of-war that can become a long and emotionally draining process, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the nuances of family law.

In these situations, consider seeking a legal professional. They can assist you in articulating your reasons for moving in a way that aligns with legal requirements.

Ultimately, every court decision focuses on the child’s welfare. It’s essential to keep this in mind as you plan your next steps.