The Issues That Come with Relocation and Child Custody



Moving somewhere new can be an adventure for the whole family, but if you are in a custody agreement with an ex-spouse, it could be a big headache. Are you allowed to make the move? What will happen to your child? The following are some issues to consider.


Moving Out of State

If you’re the custodial parent and you are planning an out-of-state move, you’ll need to contact the judge to receive permission. The judge will take a close look at your case to determine whether the move is in the best interest of the child. If the judge orders the child to stay, you can still move, but you may forfeit your right to custody and the other parent could obtain full custody instead. The following are some examples that show scenarios in which the move could be in the best interest of the child.

  • The custodial parent gained new employment with a significant raise that will improve the child’s living situation.
  • The custodial parent needs to be closer to other family members who can help to provide childcare while the parent is working or at school.
  • The child has an opportunity to attend a school that caters to his or her special needs.
  • The family has a chance to live in a safer neighborhood or community.
  • The parent was accepted to a particular school to further his or her education, in turn, improving his or her employment situation.


The Requirements to Make the Move

In some states, an express consent agreement needs to be in place in order for the custodial parent to relocate the child out of state. This is a statement within the original child custody agreement that allows relocation and visitation modification.


Other states allow for a request to move out of state if the custodial parent first gives the noncustodial parent written notice of the intent to move. Most states require a specific amount of time before the move that the parent must give the notice. The noncustodial parent would then have to consent or object through a legal motion.


There are some states that allow relocation as long as it is within a certain distance. If the custodial parent wishes to move just over the border to another state, that could be a possibility with this distance-based provision. Others don’t allow out-of-state moves, even if the border is only a mile away.


Contacting a Divorce Lawyer

If you’ve recently been through a divorce, have custody of your child and need to move, there are some steps you’ll need to take. Contact a divorce lawyer, like a divorce lawyer in Rockville, MD, today for assistance in making your move.


Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into some of the issues someone might face with relocation and child custody.