You had to make a lot of adjustments during divorce to prepare for the next chapter of your life. Maybe you are now seeking new opportunities or a closer residence to your extended family for support. However, moving is not so simple when matters of child custody are involved. Here are the steps you need to take before you can relocate with your children:
Giving notice of a move
Before you can relocate, you’ll need to create a Notice of Relocation to inform court and your ex-spouse of your intention to move with the kids. Generally, you must give notice at least 60 days before the date you wish to move. This means you’ll need to plan ahead and gather all the necessary information to comply with relocation rules.
Once you have filed a notice, your ex-spouse is given 30 days to object to the move. They can object by showing why the move would not be in the s best interests while you will need to prove why the move is beneficial.
Gathering information you need
With your Notice of Relocation, you’ll also need to include some info about the move. Make sure you have the new home’s address, your phone number, a proposed date to complete the move, a proposed visitation schedule for the other parent and a statement of your reasons for desiring relocation.
Some info you provide, such as the move date and revision to visitation hours, may not be final. A visitation schedule could be negotiated based on custody arrangements and the other parent’s rights to the children. You are simply proposing a plan of action for court to review.
Proving interests of the child
In the same way that the other parent can argue that the move is harmful, you will need to prove that the move would be good for the children. Here are some questions to consider:
- If the child is mature enough, what are their wishes?
- How far away is it? A close distance may not affect them much.
- Will the move bring them closer to friends and family with strong connections to them?
- Will the other parent still be able to visit or talk to them regularly?
- Are you pursuing a new job that could improve their quality of life?
- Does the move affect their education? What new opportunities would arise?
- What activities/communities are available where you are moving? Can they continue the hobbies and clubs they enjoy now?