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What If A Parent Wants To Relocate With A Child After A Divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Child Custody

Louisiana family issues can be complicated, particularly when they are related to children. Child custody issues are generally settled as part of the divorce, either through negotiations or by a judge’s decision, with one parent often being granted primary physical custody and the other receiving visitation rights.

However, these situations are not set in stone. People sometimes want to make changes. One that might lead to dispute is if the custodial parent wants to relocate with the child.

What Factors Are Relevant?

There must be justifiable reasons for a parent to move forward with a relocation. This is especially true if the other parent is unsure about it or outright objects to it. For the relocating parent, there might be a job opportunity, a new relationship, a chance to receive education and training, or a desire to be closer to parents and other relatives. They could also be in fear of the other parent.

The court will assess whether the move is in the child’s best interests. This is paramount in any family law matter from the time the custody and parenting time determination is made through an attempted relocation. School, the environment and even the child’s preferences can be considered. The other parent can simply give permission for the move. They can also refuse. This will put the approval or denial in the court’s hands.

If the noncustodial parent objects to the move, they can show that the request to relocate is not being done in good faith. If the relationship is acrimonious, a custodial parent who is trying to get revenge on the other parent would likely have trouble getting approval for the relocation request.

Both Parents Should Be Prepared When A Relocation Request Is Made

The visitation schedule undoubtedly will be impacted by the relocation. In cases where the parents are cordial, they can adapt accordingly. The noncustodial parent can receive extra time during holidays, school breaks and over the summer. Costs must also be assessed. For everyone involved, it is important to be prepared and aware of how this issue is handled.