Divorce can be a trying time for a family, especially when children are involved. It can be difficult to discover the balance between wanting to move onto the next chapter of your life and finding stability for your children. Even when a divorce is settled, other matters might arise that need to be solved, such as child custody arrangements in the event of a move by either spouse.
Navigating Child Custody with a Relocation
There are plenty of reasons to move, including job opportunities, being closer to family, better educational opportunities for your children, and more. However, if you share custody or are the main guardian for your children, your plans to move to a new town or state can become very complicated.
If you and your former spouse agree to the conditions of the move, the next and only step is to present a written and signed agreement to prove both party’s consent. This agreement should outline future visitation plans and transportation of the child. However, if one parents does not agree to the moving conditions presented, this process will be much more difficult to navigate.
What Happens if a Petition to Relocate Is Filed?
If the non-custodial parent objects to the move, you can file a Petition to Relocate, which means the disagreement will go to court. Once petition is filed in court, the other parent has 20 days to contest the relocation. Typically, a parent will fight a Petition to Relocate if they feel the move will prohibit them from seeing their children. In court, both parents will present their cases, including reasons why the move should or shouldn’t occur. For cases involving a distance greater than 50 miles from the current home, the court will weigh more heavily on what is in the best interest of the children.
Stopping a Custodial Parent from Relocating Children
If you are trying to prevent a former spouse from moving away with your children, it is in your best interest to demonstrate why your children should stay with you. Try to present evidence that supports the idea that your children benefit from being close to you, demonstrates your right to spend time with them, and shows the unnecessary nature of the move. You may even need to prove that the other parent is moving away just to spite you and keep you from your children.
If you and a your former spouse are struggling to come to an agreement regarding child custody and moving, the Panama City divorce lawyer at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. can help you protect your rights.