Before you load your bags in the trunk and fill your gas tank for relocation, you have to know the following information to avoid any illegalities or consequences that would affect the current custody order.
Relocation by agreement or by court approval
To legally move states or countries with your child, you have to get the approval of either the other parent or the court.
If you believe your ex would agree to you relocating with your child, you can get them to sign a written agreement that reflects the consent, outlines the updated access or time-sharing schedule and provides the transportation arrangements, if any, for the access or time-sharing. Note that you should also include the consent of other persons awarded with access or time-sharing.
However, if the relocating parent cannot obtain consent, they must file a petition to relocate with the court, serving copies to the other parent and persons entitled to access or time-sharing. The courts, then, will consider multiple factors to decide whether to allow the relocation or not.
The others can oppose the petition
While there is no presumption in favor or against the relocation, the law allows the nonrelocating parent or people with interest to file an objection within 20 days after the petition. Otherwise, the court will allow the request, unless, upon considering the factors, it finds that the relocation is not in the child’s best interests.
Providing evidence: Who has the ball?
Initially, the relocating parent has to submit evidence to prove the relocation is in the child’s best interests. If the relocating parent sufficiently does so, the ball shifts to the nonrelocating parent opposing the move to show why it is not the best for the child’s well-being.
Getting permission for a relocation requires plenty of effort in such a short period of time. One wrong move and the process can take longer. Working with competent and effective counsel can help a moving parent prepare for a solid petition to maximize their time and reach their goal.