Divorce and Relocating Children

Moving with children any time is especially trying, but when you are trying to move them after a separation it can be even more difficult.

Sole Custody And Moving

Even if you have sole custody of your children you still must obtain the permission of the other parent before moving. While asking the other parent can be very difficult, it’s worth discussing, and you never know if they’ll be receptive to the idea or not. Write down on a piece of paper the pros and cons so the other parent can see your point of view and perhaps you can encourage them to do the same for you.

When You Can’t Agree

If you and the other parent cannot agree as to whether you should move or not move, you need to start legal proceedings. You cannot force someone to accept your viewpoint, and if you still feel as though it would be in the best interest of your children to move, hire a lawyer. This is one of the most difficult areas of family law.

How The Court Decides

The court will simply look at what the best interests of the child are. While this is a very vague description of what the court looks for, it’s all that can be said. In general, if a parent has sole custody they are more likely to get a favourable ruling than one who shares custody and is looking to move the children away from the other parent. The larger role a parent has in a child’s life, the harder it is for a court to agree that the children will benefit from being moved away.

The reason you are moving away will also make a difference to the court. If you are moving for a legitimate reason such as to start a new job or for other economic reasons the court will be more likely to make a favourable ruling than if you are moving to live with a new partner.

Knowing how the court will rule is often difficult to predict, even for a family law lawyer. Each case is different: different people and different circumstances. So, have all of your ducks in a row when you are asking for permission to move your children and be sure that it truly will benefit them as well as you.

Distance Makes A Difference

If you are moving a short distance, the court is more likely to rule in your favor than if you are moving across the country. The court wishes that families would stay together, that children would know both parents well. So, the more distance you are putting between your children and their other parent the more difficult the decision becomes for the court. If you try to limit the distance you are moving, you may have more success in getting the permission you are seeking.

Other Articles about Child Custody

  • Common Child Custody Concerns – Perhaps the biggest thing that parents fear with regard to the issue of child custody is the possibility of having their children testifying in court.
  • Child Custody Assessments – A child custody assessment is an investigation by a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker.
  • Age of Child and Custody – One of the most common questions parents ask is at what age can their children choose the custody and access arrangements.
  • Making Visitation Easier On the Children – Here are some ways to try and ease the visitation process and make it a little less painful for the kids.
  • Divorce and Relocating Children – Even if you have sole custody of your children you still must obtain the permission of the other parent before moving.
  • Joint Custody – “Joint custody” means that both parents have the right to make these decisions for their children.
  • Avoiding Summer Visitation Problems – When summer is coming, divorced and separated parents frequently run into problems with their custody and visitation situations during vacation periods.
  • Relocation Issues – What happens when one parent wants to move away with the children?

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