Child Custody When One Parent Moves Out of State? 

If you’re a parent with custody of your child and you want to move out of state, you need to know whether the change is permitted under the law and how to get a judge’s permission. You can either work out a new arrangement with the other parent or file legal paperwork (sometimes called a “petition” or “motion”) in court to get permission to relocate. 

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In most cases, courts aren’t likely to allow parents to relocate with their children unless they can prove that the relocation is in their children’s best interests. In most cases, the courts will consider the distance involved, how much parenting time you will lose, the quality of your relationship with the other parent and whether your relocation will significantly impact your children’s lives. 

When one parent wants to relocate, they need to file a petition with the court that issues the initial custody order and ask the judge to approve it. If the other parent objects, a hearing will take place. 

Often, when the moving parent and the noncustodial parent are able to negotiate an agreement on their own, they can agree to a new custody arrangement that allows them to both live in the same state and maintain shared parenting time with their children. This is sometimes called a “stipulation” and it is typically signed by both parties. 

However, if your current custody order doesn’t mention your move, or you aren’t sure how the judge will react to your proposed move, it’s important to contact an attorney right away. A family law lawyer can help you decide if your proposed relocation is in your child’s best interests, and if it’s worth trying to work out a compromise on your own. 

The best interests of the child will always be the core consideration in any decision made by a family law judge. Your lawyer can help you make an argument about why the relocation is in your child’s best interest, but it’s also important to remember that there are a lot of factors that go into this decision. 

Your child’s social and family connections will play a big part in this. The court will also look at how much money it will cost to live in a different state and the potential for the non-custodial parent to not see their child as frequently as they did in the past. 

In some cases, the relocation may be permitted by a judge, especially in young children or teens who have developed ties to their community. For instance, if a mother has been living in New York with her child and then moves to Maine, the judge might approve the move because the child will be able to maintain a strong connection to their community there. 

If the court finds that the relocation is not in the child’s best interests, they may require the moving parent to find a new location. The judge might also order that the moving parent pay the other parent’s share of the costs of travel or modify their existing custody arrangement to ensure that the children’s relationships with both parents remain strong.