After a divorce, there are cases when the custodial parent needs or wishes to move to another location. The reasons include better career opportunities (promotion or relocation), a new relationship (remarrying), or an improved quality of life. The non-custodial parent may file a petition to change the custody arrangement, especially if the location is far from where they live.
The Distance of the Move
Relocation after divorce differs in each state. Some allow relocation depending on the distance of the move, like 100 miles within the current location. Others don’t allow moving at all, especially when it is out of state — even if the new location is near the border.
No Negative Effects after Relocation
Legal professionals and divorce lawyers in Nassau County noted that the court would look into the child’s ability to make frequent contact with both parents after the move. The court may allow the move and modify the existing order, but the time allocated for the non-custodial parent during visitation — major holidays and spring or summer break — might adjust. In some cases, both parents require a 50-50 split or the custodial parent alone has to pay additional transportation expenses.
The Best Interests of the Child
Regardless where the move will be, the custodial parent needs to show a “good faith” basis to prove that they’re not relocating to hide and cut ties with the non-custodial parent. The court will have to look at the best interest of the child, like the following:
- The attachment and support that the child receives from either or both the non-custodial parent and other relatives
- The children’s ties with their current school, church, community, and friends
- The presence of family members or any relative of the custodial parent in the new location
- The children’s choice, needs, and demands
Whether you’re the custodial parent or not, it’s best to understand how the court sees relocation after divorce. After all, they care about the well-being of your child as much as you do.