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Can You Move Wherever You Want When You Share Custody?

Moving to a new place can be stressful. Packing up your entire life and taking it somewhere else may take a lot of work. It only gets more complicated when you try to figure out how your child custody agreement factors in.

If you are divorced and have joint custody of your children, you can't just move your family anywhere you'd like. You need to figure out how the move will change things regarding your family first.

Your ex can bring you to court

The first thing you have to do is officially notify your ex that you plan to move. This can't just be a text message or email-you need to send them a certified letter. You have to include as much information as you can about why you are moving, where you will live and how you think your custody agreement should change.

You may move 60 days after sending the letter if your ex doesn't have an issue with you relocating. But if your ex does have a problem with you moving, they are allowed to file an objection in court. In this case-unless there is an emergency-you cannot move with your children until the judge makes a decision.

How your relocation hearing works

When you go to court both sides have to argue why the judge should or shouldn't approve your relocation. The judge will consider:

  • Both your and your ex's relationship to your children
  • Your children's needs and the impact moving will have on them
  • Why you want to relocate
  • Whether the move will improve the quality of your and your children's lives
  • Your children's preferences­­-although the judge can ignore them

The main goal for the judge is to rule in the best interest of your children. You and your attorney will need to prove that you moving will benefit your children more than you staying.

If the judge agrees with you, they will modify your custody order to make the move possible. In the event that the judge does not approve your relocation, you may still go-but you can't bring your children with you.

Here at Martson Law Offices, we know how complicated post-divorce life can be. We want you to get the best possible result in court. From notifying your ex of your move to arguing your case before the judge, our divorce attorneys can help you through the entire process.

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