Many reasons arise throughout a person’s life to cause them to consider moving to another state. For example, new job opportunities, educational pursuits, or being closer to extended family. While these reasons are valid, sharing custody or a placement schedule of children with the other parent isn’t as simple as saying “yes” to an opportunity and packing the kids up and moving. If you think a move might be on your horizon, you must speak with an attorney to go through the steps you will have to take to get permission from the other parent or the court before you can move with your children. Here are a few things to think about as you explore a move with your family:
1. Your Current Schedule and Custody Arrangements.
Do your kids spend equal time with both parents, or does one parent have more time than the other? If your move requires that a new schedule be worked out, a motion will have to be filed with the court if you cannot agree with the other parent. If you have significantly more time with the children, your chances of having a move granted may go up, but this also depends on many other factors. Have you considered options for how the other parent will continue to spend time with the children if you were allowed to move?
2. What are the Reasons for the move?
The other parent, the courts, and other interested persons will ask “why” the move is necessary. If you are moving for a job, is there not a similar job available in your current community? Will the activity significantly increase your earning potential, and why? If you are moving for educational purposes – is the program that you were accepted into unique in some way that you could not pursue the same path closer to home? Suppose you are trying to move out of state or far enough that the children’s regular placement schedule will be affected. In that case, you need a well-thought-out answer for why the move is necessary and ultimately in the best interest of your kids and the family.
3. Have You Put Thought into How the Children will Adjust?
A move is a significant change for children of all ages. Have you thoroughly researched the school district you are considering moving to? You should speak with school administrators, principals, and, if possible, the specific teacher your children, would be with. Will moving the kids out of their current school district be advantageous from an educational perspective? Will the new section provide any opportunities not available in their current one? These are questions you want answers to now – if you end up in court trying to get permission from a judge to move, the court will want to be sure you have thought through how to make this process as smooth as possible for your kids.
These three topics are only a few of the many things you will need to consider in preparing to move out of state with your children. Every case is different – Where you want to proceed, how far, and the current schedule all play roles in what you legally must do before moving. If you and the other parent cannot agree on a move plan, consult with an attorney as soon as possible to walk through the process and ensure you are fulfilling all notice requirements you must give to the other parent. Call us at 734-562-0142 or online to set up a consultation.