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Relocation of Children

Many people come to my office to discuss relocating with their child out of state and away from the child's non-custodial parent. While this can be difficult it is not impossible to do. The law essentially states that you cannot relocate with a child away from the non-custodial parent when that relocation will interfere with the non-custodial parent's access to the child. This interference can be as simple as increasing the transportation time for the child or decreasing the non-custodial parent's time from seeing the child during the week as well as the weekend to only having the child over the weekend.

However, the Courts are not blind to the fact that some families need to relocate and that a relocation involving a child may be in that child's best interests. As such, the Court will look at various factors that have been established through past-litigated cases to determine whether or not a parent should be permitted to relocate. However, it should be clearly understood that a parent cannot relocate to a distance that would interfere with the other parent's access and parenting rights without permission of the other parent or a Court order permitting them to do so.

The interpretation of each of these cases is very subjective and is dependent on the Judge that is hearing the matter. Some of these factors may include but not be limited to the following:

  1. the parents reasons for seeking a relocation with the child,
  2. the positive educational resources for the child if the relocation is granted,
  3. the improved financial condition of the custodial parent for the child if the relocation is granted,
  4. the access that the non-custodial parent will have to the child, and
  5. the ability of the non-custodial parent to maintain a relationship with the child.

Each relocation case is unique and a decision is based upon the unique circumstances of each case. Any factor that affects the overall well being of the child can and will be considered that relates to the best interests of the child/children.

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