One thing parents are sometimes surprised to learn is that divorce can impact their freedom to move. If kids are involved and custody rights have been awarded, parents who thought they’d have more freedom after ending their marriage may find out that the opposite is true.
The problem is that one parent moving with the child can infringe on the other parent’s rights, so the court may not sign off on the move.
For instance, perhaps you and your ex both live in Trenton right now. You have the kids most of the time, but your ex gets them every other weekend and visits them once a week. You want to move to Florida to escape the coming Michigan winter, but doing so would realistically mean your ex could no longer visit or get the kids on the weekend, so it’s unfair to him or her if you move.
That doesn’t mean the courts deny all moves. Here are three key factors they’ll look for that may make it feasible:
- You are trying to move to get a better job or a better living situation. In this way, the move benefits the children.
- You are moving so that you’re closer to the rest of your family, like the children’s grandparents.
- The regular visitation schedule can still be honored.
As you can see, that long-distance move may still be denied. Every case is different and courts examine them individually. The key is to understand all of your legal rights and exactly what the court is looking for. The more the move benefits the children and realistically improves your life — you’re not just moving to spite your ex — the more likely it is to be approved.
Source: The Spruce, “Child Custody Relocation Rules,” Debrina Washington, accessed Oct. 26, 2017