[R]elocation is a common issue in divorce cases. Often, the courts will put restrictions on the custodial parent’s responsibilities. He or she should keep the child within certain geographic boundaries. In Texas, we call this domicile restriction to discourage a parent who wishes to relocate with children.
However, there are exception and how do you handle them?
Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision in Baures v. Lewis, 169 N.J. 91 (2001), the party seeking to relocate must provide a good-faith reason for the move. The court has determined that relocating to be closer to family, higher education, long-term job prospects, and reduced living costs all can be considered good-faith reasons for relocation. Once the custodial parent has met the burden of showing a good-faith reason for the move, the burden shifts to the non-custodial parent to produce evidence that the move is either not in good faith or inimical to the child’s best interests.
I have already written about this in detail in Moving? Best Interest of the Child? Probably Not. However, if you are considering moving anyway, here is what the courts consider according to Kimberly Gronau, a family-law attorney, and writer for DivorceMagazine.com.
Considerations Taken By the Courts When You Want to Relocate with Children
1. Reasons given for the move;
2. Reasons given for opposition;
3. Past history of dealings between the parties in so far as it bears on reasons advanced by both parties for supporting and opposing the move;
4. Whether the child will receive educational, health, and leisure opportunities at least equal to what is available here;
5. Any special needs or talents of Johnny that require accommodation and whether such accommodation or its equivalent is available in the new location;
6. Whether a visitation and communication schedule can be developed that will allow the non-custodial parent to maintain a full and continuous relationship with the child;
7. Likelihood that the custodial parent will continue to foster Susie’s relationship with the non-custodial parent if the move is allowed;
8. The effect of the move on extended family relationships here and in the new location;
9. If Johnny is of age, his preference;
10. Whether Susie is entering her senior year in high school, at which point she should generally not be moved until graduation without her consent;
11. Whether the non-custodial parent has the ability to relocate;
12. Any other factor bearing on the child’s interests.
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Knowing ahead of time what the courts will consider, should help in your pursuit.
Have you moved with the kids? Has your Ex? What did the courts say? How did it go?
Featured image from Dollar Photo Club.