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Considerations for divorced parents thinking about relocating

If you are divorced or divorcing, it is important that you carefully consider several matters before attempting to relocate your child outside his or her current hometown and/or school district. Judges within the family law system are required to adjudicate matters of child custody and visitation in the affected child’s best interest. Therefore, if your relocation is not in your child’s best interest, your child’s other parent may have grounds to contest your move.

Even if your child’s other parent does not opt to bring a claim based on your relocation, modifying your parenting plan in accordance with your relocation-related circumstances may be a move worth considering. It is important to show the court and your co-parent that you are willing to parent cooperatively no matter where you are located. But more importantly, it is critical that you act in ways that benefit your child and will honor his or her relationship with your co-parent.

Thinking about how your relocation will affect your child and his or her relationship with your co-parent will almost certainly inspire some ideas on how to make the situation align more fully with your child’s best interests.

Please note that many of these tips do not generally apply to relocations in which your child’s other parent is no longer present in his or her life, has been deemed unfit or is abusive. In addition, your circumstances may include compelling reasons to relocate even if your child’s other parent opts to object. Therefore, please do not hesitate to consult an attorney experienced in matters of parental relocation if you have questions about your particular circumstances and how they will be treated within the legal system.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Divorce Confidential: Considerations Before Relocating Your Children,” Caroline Choi, June 4, 2014

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