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What are the Rules for Moving a Child After Divorce?

When parents divorce, they have the responsibility for co-parenting their children. Generally, both parents are allowed to spend time with the kids. However, the time may come when a parent wants to move away and take the children along. This can pose a problem, particularly if both parents do not agree to the new arrangement. There are laws in place that govern the ability of parents to move away with their children. Whether you wish to move away, or you want to try to prohibit your former spouse from doing so, there are some essential rules that you need to follow.

Obtain a Family Judge’s Approval

If you are planning to move with your children, you must obtain permission from a family court judge beforehand. You may want to move to be closer to family, to work in a better job, or for any other number of reasons. You must get a judge’s approval in cases in which you have joint custody and you wish to move more than 100 miles away while still remaining inside the state. You must also seek court permission if you are moving out of state, regardless of the type of custody that you have.

When determining distance, the measurement occurs from the place where the child resided at the time the time you filed the original case. Both parents are subject to the 100-mile rule, even if the child resides primarily with one parent. If one parent has sole legal custody, you do not need a judge’s approval to move, however, you must still comply with the terms of the parenting time agreement. Therefore, you will need to make legal changes to your parenting time by filing a court motion.

How a Judge Reviews a Request to Move

There are many factors that the judge will use to evaluate the potential move. The judge does not have to allow the move and will only grant permission if you present clear evidence that the move is necessary and is in the best interest of the child. If both parents agree to the move, it is best to obtain written consent from the other parent. This will eliminate problems later. The judge will make sure that the parent is moving for the right reasons and not simply to prevent or limit the other parent from having visitation.

Sometimes a parent wants to move to accept a better-paying job. This can be a critical factor because the parent will be able to better provide for the child and therefore improve the child’s quality of life. If the other parent objects to the move, you will need to provide compelling evidence that the move is necessary and best for the family.

If you want to move out of state, remember that the custody order includes a provision that you cannot move out of state without first obtaining legal permission from a judge. Keep in mind that you need to get permission before you move, and this can take some time. Therefore, as soon as you know that you want to move, you should take steps to file a motion for a judge to review your case. In all instances, you will need to put a revised parenting time plan in place.

Moving with your child can be a complex process, so it makes sense to seek help from an experienced attorney. At Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd, we have the expertise and skills to guide the process and assist you with the request. Contact our legal team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. online or call us today at (608) 784-8310 for an initial consultation.

Published February 5, 2021
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