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Relocating children after divorce

As a parent, you always want the best for your children, and often that involves making difficult and possibly unpopular decisions. Planning to relocate to another city or state with children following a divorce can be a complicated matter that may be a hard sell for the other parent, grandparents, the children themselves and even the courts determining the terms of custody.

Relocation of children as a part of retaining custody may require you to receive express permission from a family court. Laws that govern how and why a parent retaining custody of children may relocate them differ from state to state, so familiarizing yourself with the applicable laws in your case will be helpful in determining how to approach your unique situation. Often, perceived well-being of the child or children is given precedence over other factors that more directly affect the custodial parent, such as opportunities for greater paying jobs or a more reliable support system.

There is always the possibility that the non-custodial parent or other parties such as the non-custodial grandparents will choose to oppose the relocation of the children. In such a circumstance, the custodial parent will face the challenge of demonstrating that relocation is truly in the best interest of the children and will allow the best quality of life for them, or at the very least provide minimal negative impact on their well-being. Because divorce can be an innately hurtful experience, these kinds of decisions will often be scrutinized as examples of vengeful behavior or emotional decision making. The custodial parent faces the task of proving that such decisions are in the children's best interest and not guided by other ulterior motives.

Divorce can always be difficult and messy, but there is no need for your children to suffer greatly on account of a parent choosing to relocate. The guidance of experienced legal counsel can help protect your rights as a parent and allow you to move through this difficult season to a better life.

Source: The Huffington Post, "6 Things to Expect and Consider When Relocating with Children After Divorce," Andrea Moore, accessed June 24, 2016

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