Whether you want to move closer to family and friends or need to pursue an educational or job opportunity out of state, there are many reasons that you might consider relocating with your child or children while they are still minors.
However, if your move will be distant and permanent, you will need to get approval from the court before you relocate.
When must you seek approval for relocation?
Generally, you must seek court approval if you have a parenting time or visitation order with your ex-spouse and you want to move more than 50 miles from your current permanent residence. Exceptions include temporary travel arrangements for vacations or educational/healthcare opportunities for your child.
What if your ex-spouse agrees to the move?
If you and your former spouse are on good terms, it may be possible to get approval for relocating with your child by filing a written agreement with the court. In addition to your ex’s consent to the move, this document should include any new arrangements for scheduling visitation and/or parenting time.
What if your ex-spouse is likely to object to relocation?
If you are unsure whether your ex-spouse will agree to relocation, you may need to file a petition with the court. Your petition should provide details about your new address, the proposed date for relocation, an explanation of your reason(s) for moving and suggestions for how you will manage time-sharing schedules with your child’s other parent.
Receiving your spouse’s consent and/or the approval of the court before you relocate is essential. Failing to file a formal agreement or petition could result in charges of contempt. Additionally, relocating without meeting legal requirements may have a long-term impact on how the court handles future decisions about custody arrangements and support payments.