Maybe you had to go back to school after your divorce to get a degree. Now you finally have a job offer, but it is in upstate New York. You currently share custody of your children with your ex-spouse, and you aren’t sure how supportive they will be about the possibility of you moving to another state.
Relocation requests can often strain co-parenting relationships because they can diminish one parent’s time with the children. Will you be able to accept that job and move with your children even if your ex is uncooperative?
You may have to go back to court
If you move to a new home and it negatively affects the other parent’s ability to spend time with the children, the situation constitutes a relocation. You typically require either the cooperation of your ex or the approval of the courts to move somewhere far enough away to limit their parenting time with the children.
If your ex is cooperative, then the process will largely be a technical one where a judge reviews the situation and makes updates to your parenting plan. However, if your ex does not want to cooperate, you may need to prepare for litigation.
The best strategies keep the focus on the kids
As someone eager to rebuild or improve your life after your divorce, it is easy to approach this issue with your own needs as the main focus. However, a family law judge cares more about what the impact will be on the children.
Your chances of getting permission to move with the children increase if you can show a judge that they would benefit from the move. Better schools, more family members nearby and many other factors could make the destination of your relocation request a good place for your children to live.
Combining a focus on the benefits for your children with suggestions on how to keep your ex involved will show the courts that you are eager to do what is right for the entire family. Although there is never a guarantee of success in any litigated family law matter, the right approach can go a long way toward improving your chances of moving with the kids.
Understanding how the courts respond to requested updates to child custody arrangements can help those preparing for a big change in life.