Breaking up with your significant other will likely change your life substantially. You may go back to school, pursue better career opportunities, or seek to be closer to your friends and family. If you and your former significant other share joint custody, however, you cannot relocate with your children, if it impacts the custody arrangement, without the court’s approval. First, you must give notice to the other parent of your intent to relocate with the child(ren). If you and your former significant other can agree on a new parenting arrangement, this will substantially ease your troubles. However, since child-related matters are based on their best interests, you must still have it approved by taking it through the proper legal channels.
If you and the other parent cannot achieve an agreement on your own, you will have to take the matter to court. Depending on your reasons for relocating and whether the relocation serves the best interests of your children, a judge may grant your request.
Factors the Court Will Examine
You or your former significant other can relocate at any time, without the court’s approval. That said, if you wish to take the children with you, you must either reach an agreement with the other parent or obtain a court order. This is often a two-step process: step one is to request a “move away” or “relocation” order; step two is an evidentiary hearing or trial where a judge will often require testimony from a child custody evaluator regarding the best interests of the children that examines several factors.
Here is a list of some of those factors:
- The interest of the children’s stability
- The continuity of the parenting plan
- Distance of the move
- Age of the children
- Children’s relationship with each parent
- Parents’ relationship with each other
- Children’s wishes (if mature enough, usually ages 14 and up)
- Reason for proposed move
- Extent to which parents share custody
It is important that the parent who seeks to move away is not motivated by bad faith. If it appears that your intent for moving is to harm your ex’s relationship with the children, a judge will not grant a relocation. As long as your reasons to move appear to be in good faith and in the best interests of your children, you have a chance of being successful with your request.
Reach Out to Our Family Law Team for a Consultation Today!
If you wish to relocate with your children, you must secure skilled legal assistance. At Kraft Miles, A Law Corporation, our family law team can guide you through the process of petitioning the court to relocate with your children. Life can change considerably after a divorce and you must be able to make the necessary changes to your divorce decree in order to accommodate them. You can rely on us to help you achieve the best possible results.
Contact our law office today at (818) 462-5076 to request a consultation with a member of our team.