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Is relocating with my child an option after I divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 26, 2021 | family law

Most spouses understand that they’ll need to start their life anew after they divorce. Husbands and wives often think long and hard about what the new chapter in their life will look like. For many, it involves relocating to a different area.

While the idea of picking up and moving to a new area may appeal to you, it may not be practical or possible if you have minor children.

Is it common for parents and their kids to relocate post-divorce?

A previous study highlighted how an estimated 25% or more parents decide to relocate post-divorce. That research shed light on the reasons why they do that. Many parents do so to be closer to other family members, for a new job and in search of a reduced cost of living.

How post-divorce relocations impact kids

The impact that relocations may have on children is unclear. Various factors, including your child’s bond with family or friends, their age and community affiliations, may all affect whether or not a move would leave behind a lasting impression.

Almost every U.S. jurisdiction requires a custodial parent to notify the noncustodial parent of their plans to relocate out of the area before doing so. Most court rules require parents to provide advanced, written notice of their plans. The co-parent that plans to remain living in the area must also be given ample time to respond to the relocation petition.

Both parents ultimately must attend a court hearing where a judge might ask additional probing questions about a parent’s motivation to relocate and try to ascertain whether doing so is in their child’s best interests. A judge may only sign off allowing for the relocation if they’re satisfied that such a move won’t adversely impact the child.

Steps you should take before relocating with your child

You may find it helpful to bring up your desires to move with your ex to see how they feel about them before filing any petition with the court. You may want to familiarize yourself with your rights to relocate before doing so. This may help you gain a better perspective as to how to craft your relocation proposal in the hope of your ex agreeing to it.

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