When parents divorce and have a child custody agreement in place, they may not consider what would happen if they need or want to move. Generally, a parent is required to ask a judge for permission before he or she can move out of state with the child. If he or she moves the child without the court’s authorization, the parent could face significant penalties.
The parent may be required to provide written notice to the other parent of the intent to move within a certain period of time, usually between 30-90 days. The other parent can either consent or can object by filing a motion to prevent the move from occurring.
The court will consider whether the move is in the child’s best interest. The parent may also be required to provide the court with a good faith reason for the move. This might include relocation for a job or education opportunities, moving to be closer to family or friends or to reside in a more cost-effective area.
After considering these factors and others, the court will either accept or deny the parent’s relocation request.
If a parent moves the child without permission, that may be a violation of the court’s custody order and considered child abduction. This is a very serious issue that can lead to temporary or permanent elimination of the parent’s custody rights. It may also result in fines and jail time for the parent.
If the parent takes the child out of the country, it may trigger consequences under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction which protects children from international abduction.
An experienced attorney can provide representation for domestic and international relocation matters.