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Move Away Requests

Move Away Requests

After a divorce or separation, a parent may want to move away with his or her child. However, before this can be done, both parents must consent to this move. If there’s discord between the parents and one disapproves, a move away request must be made. When approved, a move away request allows a child to be moved out of state or country. This allows you to bring your child with you when you move. Yet, if you’re on the other side of the situation, you may feel concerned that your parental rights to see your children are being taken away. No matter where you stand, a family law attorney can fight for your rights, so you are not undermined and the best interests of your child are protected as the move away is considered. 

Making a Request

When it comes to move away requests, there are many factors you should be aware of that may affect your standing and your preexisting court-ordered arrangement. The parent with permanent full physical custody of the child, or the custodial parent, typically has a lower burden to meet when making a move away request  This can benefit the child, who may have a closer bond with this parent, but is difficult for the other parent, whose parenting time may now be severely limited.  

The process for parents who share joint physical custody is typically more complicated. Both parents must consent to the request and there are extensive court processes available to protect the rights of both parents and the child, including a contested court trial. If the non-custodial parent rejects, he or she must prove that the arrangement is not beneficial to the child. Furthermore, the child’s own preferences (depending on age) and situation will be considered as well. It is not simply up to the parents alone: the child, as the subject in question, will likely be the one most affected by the new arrangements. 

Factors That Impact A Request

A court will analyze your situation to determine whether or not to grant the move away request. The following are a few factors that impact the court’s decision:

  • Child’s Preference: The child’s wishes are not overlooked in the decision. Rather, the court will respect the child’s relationship with his or her parents and which relationship is comparatively more beneficial to the child’s wellbeing. Additionally, the court will listen to the child’s preferred location of residence (depending on child’s age).
  • Child’s Age: Younger children may not fully understand the situation, while more mature children may be able to attest to their preferences. Furthermore, the age of the child may relate to his or her relationships with the parents and levels of attachment, which should be preserved. 
  • Parenting Time: When parenting time has been prearranged, the move often must respect this ratio and not compromise the other parent’s time with the child. Creative scheduling can often preserve total time ratios.
  • Distance: If the move is not drastically far, it will not be viewed as having as severe of consequences. Moves that have greater distances are more likely to be challenged. This is because the farther the child moves away, the more the non-custodial parent’s relationship with the child is compromised. 
  • Ability and willingness of custodial parent to encourage and preserve the parent-child relationship with the non-custodial parent. Here, the court may review past cooperation or lack of co-parenting cooperation to evaluate whether the parent-child relationship with the non-custodial parent will be preserved if the move away is granted.

Contact a Family Law Attorney

Whether you’d like to move away with your child or contest your ex-partner’s request, a family law attorney can help you through the process. Our law firm has handled matters related to move away requests and may be able to help you during this difficult transition as well. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.  

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