Can I Relocate with My Child After a Divorce?

Much about a person’s life can change after a divorce. You may need to return to school, pursue better job opportunities, or relocate to be closer to family. If you share children with your former spouse, you cannot simply relocate with them to move forward into this new chapter of your life. Even if you and your former spouse can agree on a new parenting schedule to accommodate the move, it must be approved by the court to ensure it supports their best interests.

Relocating with Your Children

Even if you are the custodial parent, you cannot relocate with your children without permission. Doing so can potentially result in steep fines, jail time, or both. If you are not your children’s custodial parent, you have legal options to protect your parental rights.

Consider the following:

  • File an objection with the court stating that you are opposed to the move.
  • File a petition to request a modification of your child custody arrangement to become your children’s custodial parent.

How Does the Court Decide?

When determining whether a parent can relocate with their children or not, the court will examine several factors, particularly the motive of the relocating parent. If a judge suspects your motive for moving is to drive a wedge between your children’s relationship with your former spouse, it is highly unlikely your request will be granted.

Here are some of the factors a judge will consider in your relocation case:

  • Any prior agreements between you and your former spouse
  • The children’s relationship with each parent and other extended family members
  • The needs, age, and maturity of the children
  • An alternative arrangement that may allow the children to maintain a relationship with their other parent
  • The logistics and financial impact of permitting or preventing the relocation
  • Whether the other parent can relocate at the same time
  • In some cases, a judge may also consider the preference of the children

Ultimately, if the relocation does not serve the best interests of the children, a family court judge will not permit the relocation.

Request a Consultation with an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today!

If you wish to relocate with your children in the aftermath of your divorce, you will need to retain skilled legal representation to secure the results you need to move forward. At SmartLaw, our experienced attorney can guide you through this difficult and emotionally charged process. We know that child-related matters are sensitive matters and will provide the strong and compassionate legal support you need to get through it.

Get started on your relocation case and reach out to our law office today at to set up case review with our compassionate family law attorney.

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