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What do courts consider in move away cases?

One of the common changes that comes with a divorce is that one parent may choose to move away. In some cases, the change of venue is necessary because a parent has received a transfer within their company. In others, a parent may move to take care of an elderly family member. A parent may want to further a new romantic relationship or move just to spite their ex.

Because of these potential scenarios, it may be necessary for a custodial parent to seek the court’s permission before moving to another jurisdiction. This is because the court has an interest in ensuring that the relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child are preserved. 

With that said, the court will consider a number of factors in deciding whether to sanction a parent’s move, including:

-          How far away the moving parent will be going (i.e. within the same county, region or state)

-          Whether the move will significantly affect the non-custodial parent’s time with the child

-          Whether the move will enhance the custodial parent’s (and the child’s) quality of life (i.e. permanent housing, proximity to school and family)

-          The custodial parent’s reasons for moving, as well as the non-custodial parent’s reasons for opposing such a move

-          Depending on their age, the children’s preferences.

Every relocation case is different, so basing the likelihood that your move will be successful on someone else’s case is fraught with peril. If you have questions about moving to another state with a child, it would helpful to consult an experienced family law attorney.

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