Single custodial parents who share custody with a noncustodial parent may find themselves in between a rock and a hard place if they want to move to a new state with their children. Most child custody agreements and child custody orders will restrict the custodial parent from moving too far away from the noncustodial parent when the distance of the move threatens to interfere with the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights.
Ultimately, if the noncustodial parent refuses to agree to the move, the custodial parent will need to file a request to relocate with the child, and a family court judge will decide the matter. The most important consideration in making such a determination will be the best interests of the child or children involved.
Sometimes, parents can make a case for why the move will be of significant benefit to the child. For example, perhaps the custodial parent is living in poverty in the current location and not receiving very much financial support from the noncustodial parent. However, a promised job offer will give the parent the financial ability to afford a better home, better schooling and a dramatically better quality of life.
Alternatively, maybe the custodial parent wishes to move to a location that will be closer to extended family members who can provide love and additional support to the child. If the child is currently lacking in this kind of support and family relationships in the current location, this could be an excellent point in support of the judge granting the move.
It can be difficult for a custodial parent to move away if the noncustodial parent disagrees. If you wish to move with your children, it could be wise to discuss your situation with an experienced family law attorney.