People who go through divorce often want a fresh start after their marriage ends. Some may want to relocate, maybe even head out of state. However, for parents who share custody of their children, relocating after divorce can be problematic.

How moving impacts child custody

If you are a parent and want to relocate after divorce, you’ll need to show the move is in your child’s best interests to maintain or increase your child custody time. A judge will consider a relocation as in a child’s best interests if:

  • The relocation allows you to create a more stable financial situation for your child.
  • You have a better support system in the area you are relocating to. You have parents or other family members who live near where you are relocating, and they can help you care for your child.
  • You are moving to remarry, and the marriage will give you better financial security, the ability to be a stay-at-home parent or live in a better home and neighborhood.
  • The place you are relocating has better opportunities for your child – better schools and educational opportunities or better medical facilities.

Negotiating relocation with an ex

You’ll need to let your former spouse know you plan on relocating and how relocating can help your child. You may need to be willing to allow your child to spend more time with your ex during summer vacation and school breaks. You may need to agree to provide transportation for your child to have custody time with their other parent.

Deciding to relocate after divorce shouldn’t be taken lightly. You need to show you are willing to help foster your child’s relationship with their other parent and the move will benefit your child. Otherwise, you could face losing custody time with your child. You’ll also need the help of an experienced family law attorney to show how your relocation will be in your child’s best interests and help you modify your child custody agreement.