It is not uncommon for a parent to move at some point after a divorce. The end of a marriage often precipitates a lot of change in the lives of both parents and, as a result, residing in the same area you once called home may no longer be practical. Whether you were offered a new and promising job, decided to go back to school, or wish to be closer to family, relocation can become a necessary part of your future. Since you have children, however, this can complicate matters.
Even as the custodial parent, you cannot simply take your children with you. First, you can discuss the matter with your former spouse and, if you agree, have the court approve the modifications made to your child custody agreement. If this effort fails, however, you can petition the court with your request to move with your children.
Relocating with Your Children
Family courts believe stability and consistency are paramount for the happiness and wellbeing of a child, so if you wish to move away with them, you must prove that the move will support their best interests and that it is being made in good faith. If you are moving to spite your former spouse and harm the parent-child bond, it is unlikely a judge will grant your request.
Here are some factors a judge will review when rendering a decision for your case:
- The intent of the moving parent
- How moving may impact the children’s educational, emotional, and physical development
- How moving may impact the children’s quality of life
- The strength, quality, and stability of the children’s relationship with both parents and other important figures in their life
- If disrupting the children’s relationship with the non-moving parent will be harmful to them
- Prior agreements between the parents
- The age, needs, and developmental stage of the children
- If it is feasible for the other parent to relocate as well
- The financial impact relocation may have
- If they are mature enough, the children’s preferences may be considered
A parent’s motives for moving are always closely examined to ensure it is not fueled by a desire to harm the relationship the non-moving parent has with the children, so be prepared to demonstrate that the move would be the most beneficial arrangement for your children. Moreover, show that it would still be feasible for your children to continue to maintain a relationship with their other parent.
Discuss the Details of Your Relocation Case with an Experienced Attorney
If you are planning to move away and have children, you will need a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side to assist you with the process. At Kay Polk, Attorney at Law, our attorney will provide the guidance you need to ensure the best possible results for your case.
Reach out to our law office today at (713) 234-6260 to set up a consultation.