After your divorce, you may feel like it’s time to pick up and move on – but you can’t do that very easily when moving would affect your co-parent’s custody and visitation rights.
Relocating with a child post-divorce is something that almost always ends up before a judge, and convincing a judge to grant you permission to relocate with your child may not be easy.
It’s all about the best interests of the child
It’s not your parental rights nor your co-parent’s rights that are the priority in family court: it’s your child’s. If you want to move and take your child with you, you need to show the court that doing so will benefit your child more than staying. Some common arguments include:
- Job opportunities and economic stability: If you are moving for a better career with a higher income, then you can highlight the potential benefits that would bring to your child in the form of a more stable home and an enhanced lifestyle.
- Educational opportunities: If your child has special needs or is gifted (or a mix of both), you may be very justified in moving to an area where their unique educational needs can be met. If you’re moving for your own educational needs, focus on how furthering your education will allow you to get a better job and provide better for your child.
- Social and familial support: Sometimes people want to relocate to be near family members who can help them with childcare. You can stress the loving bonds that have already been established between your child and their grandparents or other relatives and the benefits that they can have as a result of enhancing those relationships after the move.
- Medical needs: If your child has unique medical needs and you want to relocate somewhere where there is greater access to physicians, specialists and treatment facilities, that’s definitely something to put before the court.
Asking to relocate with your child is a difficult proposition, and it requires a nuanced approach. Seeking legal guidance before you start can help you take a strategic approach.