If you want to relocate with your child, you will have to check state laws to know the right process. You might need court permission to move, especially if you’re moving far away from the other parent.
Does primary physical custody make a difference?
If you have primary physical custody, then you can move within your current county and one county over. Any relocations that are farther away require approval from the court.
Is relocating reasonable?
Family law prohibits parents from relocating out of state when it’s to interfere with the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights. You need a good reason for the court to grant approval. There are no guarantees on what situation a court will see as a legitimate reason for moving out of state with your child.
Some common examples are if your reason for moving is to be close to an ill family member or to accept a job opportunity. However, it’s still possible that the court will reject your request because the best interests of the child take priority over the parents’ wishes under family law.
Can you relocate when the other parent approves?
Even when the other parent agrees to let you relocate, you may still need approval from the court. Consider how you can adjust your co-parenting plan to allow as much visitation time as possible for the non-custodial parent. You might agree to cover the travel expenses and allow your child to stay with them longer during summers and holidays. Consulting with a professional will help you and the other parent draft a fair plan that works for both of you and your child. The court is more likely to grant approval if the plan is fair and in the best interests of the child.
The state wants to protect parents as well as their children. Having a relationship with both parents is important for the child’s healthy emotional development.