Child Custody Relocation Laws
Last week, I received a call from a client who wanted permission to relocate out of state with the children. The client had been awarded primary residential custody of the children and had received a job offer that was compelling. Whether that client will be permitted to move out of state with the children will depend on a number of factors, the first of which involves the consent of the ex-spouse. If not, a court will have to decide. The court will make its determination based on the children’s best interests at the time the request is made.
Clients sometimes enter agreements that address this issue, but such agreements may not be looked upon favorably by the judge because of differences in facts and factors that may exist at the time of the request. The most relevant factors pertain to the ability of the other parent to maintain a relationship with the children and to see the children, as well as the reasons for the desired relocation. If a client wants to move merely because another location has better weather, but there is no compelling reason to move, the answer is likely to be no. If a client’s job has been eliminated, he or she lost a steady income, and the client has to move to obtain another job, there is clearly a more compelling case. Sit down and talk with your attorney because, in these cases, it is important to strategize how best to present your case to the court.