Custody agreements are often challenging to create in a divorce. When a couple is dissolving the marriage, finding common ground is difficult. Determining who gets the child when is not always easy. Many times, the custody arrangement doesn’t take into account the future needs of the family, such as if a parent has to relocate for a job. What do you do if you do have to move?

Ideally, the child’s parents will agree on how to adapt to a new situation when one of the parents has to move. You may have to give notice (30, 60, or 90 days) to the other parent about the intended move. If you are the custodial parent, the noncustodial may have to give consent to allow the move. The noncustodial parent can also file a motion with the court to object to the move. In this case, the matter might need to be decided by a judge.

Can the Court Prevent a Parent From Moving?

State laws often dictate how relocation affects child custody. Some states allow a move of up to 100 miles, provided it’s within the same state. You may not be allowed to move across state lines, even if it’s just a few miles. Your divorce lawyer can advise you on the rules in your state. Your original divorce decree may factor into play. Some decrees contain clauses that outline what happens if a parent needs to move. The court can disallow a move if it is determined that that the parent is retaliating against the other parent.

Best Interests of the Child

The court may require the relocating parent to describe the reason for the move. Generally, if the move is for positive reasons, such as living in a better area or closer to family, the court is more likely to approve. However, the judge may also consider other reasons. If the noncustodial parent objects to a move, the court may consider whether the parent exercised visitation rights.

The relocating parent may need to suggest a new visitation schedule with arrangements to cover the costs of travel related to the visitation. Some states require the costs to be split 50-50 between the parents, while other states require the moving parent to pay the additional expenses. The other parent may be more willing to agree to the move if you can be flexible about these options.

Relocating after a divorce can be more difficult. Child custody orders can restrict your freedom. Contact a child custody lawyer in Dallas, TX, such as from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, to discuss your situation and take the proper steps to relocating.