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How to get approval to relocate with your children

Imagine you just got the job offer of your dreams. The problem is, it's in another state, and your child custody orders prohibit you from moving more than 100 miles away from your current location with your child, and they prohibit you from moving across state lines without first getting permission from the noncustodial parent of your child.

As the custodial parent, you know that you are the one who gives your children the most care. You also know that you and your kids will be better off in this new location, where -- in addition to a good job -- your children's grandparents live. Can you file a request for court approval to relocate?

Factors to consider in a child custody relocation case

Courts generally will want you to remain close to the noncustodial parent, so your children can easily have a relationship with him or her. However, in some circumstances, you may be able to get your request to relocate approved.

Here are important child custody relocation factors that will come into play:

  • Can you satisfy good faith burden of proof? When making your case for relocation you want to show the benefits to your children by showing that the move will bring you things like: proximity to family members who can help with child care; better living costs; a new job that's already an offer; or excellent education opportunities.
  • Did you satisfy the notice and consent requirements? It never hurts to ask your noncustodial parent for permission. He or she may see the wisdom in your request and allow you to move away. You might agree to allow your children to stay with the noncustodial parent for the summers in exchange. You do, however, need to give appropriate notice when making such a request, so that the parent has enough time to respond with a motion to prevent the relocation.
  • Do you already have express consent? In some child custody agreements, there will be express consent language that already gives you permission to relocate if you so desire.
  • How far away do you plan to move? You might be surprised to discover that, if the move is within state lines, or if it's within 100 miles, you might already have the right to make the relocation.

Get legal assistance with your relocation request

A family law attorney is an invaluable asset when trying to get approval for a child custody relocation matter. Your lawyer will help you make a compelling case for why your move is in the best interest of yourself, your children and your family as a whole.


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