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Job opportunities opening the door for more relocation requests

Is a custody relocation case ever a win-win situation? Child custody relocation requests arise when the custodial parent wishes to move because of an employment opportunity or because he or she has remarried. These types of requests are becoming even more common because of the struggling economy.

So what does a judge look at when a relocation motion comes across their desk? On the most basic level, factors that can influence the decision include whether the new plan preserves the relationship between the parent and the children and how it affects the kids involved. In addition, a relocation request can be granted if the non-custodial parent agrees to the change.

But relocating children can be a complicated process and often someone is left disappointed. One woman has primary custody of two boys that she shares with her former husband. The woman remarried and her current husband has a job in a different state.

She filed a motion to relocate to the state where he is currently employed but was denied the request. Her former husband would not have been able to see his sons consistently throughout the year. Now she is resubmitting the motion to try to get the new plan approved so she can move closer to her husband.

Even with the aid of new technology such as video chat and e-mail, personal interaction is a better way to maintain relationships. The decision to grant a relocation request is not a simple task and requires the balancing of interests of all involved.

But relocation requests are not always denied. Another woman sought to move after she remarried to go to school and be with her new husband. The move would take her daughters further away from their father. Her request was granted and the father still maintained the same amount of parenting time despite the increased distance.

Source: MLive online, "More custodial battles in Jackson courts are crossing state lines," Danielle Salisbury, 16 March 2011

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