Life circumstances can change in a heartbeat and sometimes those circumstances require a parent to move or relocate with his or her children. When that parent is a single parent and the other parent has visitation rights -- or if the parent is sharing joint custody with the other parent -- it can make relocation a little more challenging.
Relocating with a child will not be legally possible in all situations. However, parents can petition the court for permission by filing a Motion/Stipulation to Relocate.
General information for single parents who want to relocate with their children
Here are a few things you need to remember if you want to file a petition to relocate with your child:
- You must notify the other parent in writing about your request for relocation. This notice must include where you want to move, the reason and a proposed post-move parenting plan. This notice needs to be provided as soon as possible and preferably before you submit your Motion to Relocate the Minor Child(ren).
- To file your Motion to Relocate you have to have a current court order governing parenting time arrangements.
- If your request to relocate will affect the relationship between your child(ren) and other parent the court will look at the following issues:
- Whether one of the parents committed spousal or partner abuse
- The reasons why the parent wants the child(ren) to move with him or her
- The reasons why the other parent has objected to the move
- The quality of both parents' relationships with the child(ren)
- The education opportunities for the children in the current and proposed locations
- Whether extended family are in the existing and proposed locations
- The advantages for the child(ren) to either stay or move
- The potential impact of the relocation on the child(ren)
- Whether the parents can arrange for a reasonable parenting plan after the move
- Any other significant factors that could affect the best interests of the child(ren) involved
Are you planning to move somewhere with your child?
Planning a move with your children doesn't always have to be an impossible dream. With the right planning and the right application of the law, it could be possible in some circumstances. Before moving forward with such a request, however, it's vital that you consider all of the legal issues involved.