Divorced? Moving? Make Sure Your Child Can Come, Too.

You did the hard work.
You negotiated a placement schedule in your divorce that works for you, your ex, and serves your child’s best interests.
Now, you’re faced with a work restructuring, a promotion, or a life-changing job offer in your dream city.
Can you move? Can your ex stop you? What about your child’s placement schedule?
Many may be surprised that, if your placement schedule gives both parents periods of physical placement (as most do) the court cannot stop you from moving.
The court, however, may stop you from relocating your child with you.
If you were divorced before April 2018, your divorce judgment will state what happens if you wish to relocate your child’s residence to another state, or more than 150 miles away from the other parent.
For divorces after April 5, 2018, the statutes concerning “Relocating a Child’s Residence” have changed.
These changes modify both the required legal procedures and what a parent must establish before he/she can relocate with a child.

Some major changes include:

  • Requiring the party wanting to move to file a motion with the court, specifying where, when and why the move is occurring, and a proposed new placement schedule if the move is approved;
  • Clearly applying the statute to paternity actions, as well as divorces;
  • Decreasing the triggering move distance to 100 miles, down from 150 miles, from the other parent;
  • Focusing on the move’s distance in miles, versus in or out of state; and
  • Requiring an initial hearing within 30 days of filing a motion to move.

Relocation proceedings can be complicated, and require the help of an experienced family law attorney.  They involve fact-specific issues, including when the last placement order was entered, how significantly the relocation would affect the placement schedule, whether the non-moving parent has significantly exercised his/her current placement, and how the change will affect the child.

Contact your FOS attorney if you, or your ex, is proposing to relocate.