Lots of people think about relocating after they get divorced. It can be refreshing and rather freeing to start over in a new place, around new people, when you’ve been stuck in an unhappy place for a long time.
When you’re a parent with primary or shared custody of your child, however, relocating isn’t easy. What you may be permitted to do — and where you may be permitted to move — will ultimately depend on what the court sees as the best interests of your child.
To determine if you can make a good case to the judge to allow a move, here are the things you need to consider:
1. How does your move benefit your child?
The court is unlikely to allow you to move away with your child without a good reason. Merely wanting to put some distance between yourself and your ex-spouse is not sufficient. Some good reasons for moving might include:
- The need to move where the cost of living is lower to better your child’s environment
- Taking a new job that will allow you to improve your child’s standard of living
- Furthering your education in a way that you cannot do where you are currently
- The need to be closer to family members who can help meet your child’s needs
- The need to obtain medical care or special education services for your child
While it’s true that the move may benefit you, the court only concerns itself with how the move might benefit your child. It also wants to make sure that you aren’t just moving away to punish your ex-spouse and keep him or her away from your child.
2. How do you propose to help your child maintain a relationship with the other parent?
Today, long distances don’t have to be a barrier to a healthy parent-child relationship. You need to have a plan that will allow your child’s other parent plenty of visitation. That may mean sending your child to spend the summer with your ex-spouse and making certain that your child has a nightly or weekly Skype visit with the other parent. The better you have developed a plan, the more seriously the court may consider your request.
Relocation requests are often fraught with tension. Find out more about how to present your case and make a persuasive argument to the court.