Child custody issues can quickly become complicated. The reason is that child custody and visitation determinations must be based on what furthers a child’s best interests. This consideration takes a wide variety of factors into account, which can leave a lot of room for argument. While many couples are able to negotiate child custody arrangements that work for them and their children, others have to litigate the matter in front of a judge. Regardless of which route your custody issue resolved initially, you might find yourself facing the same matter when the custodial parent seeks to relocate with the child.
In these instances, a noncustodial parent can seek a custody modification if the proposed relocation is more than 100 miles. This means that both the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent will need to be prepared to argue why their proposed custody and visitation arrangement further the child’s best interests. Specifically, a court will consider several factors, including the following:
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- The child’s needs and how relocation will affect them and a parent’s ability to provide for them
- How the move will affect the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent and the relocating parent’s ability to preserve that relationship
- The child’s preferences, if he or she is old enough
- How the relocation will affect the child’s overall quality of life
- Each parent’s reasons for supporting and opposing the relocation
A parental relocation can have an enormous impact on all parties involved. Therefore, regardless of whether you are a custodial or noncustodial parent, you need to gather evidence, including witness testimony, to help support your position. An attorney who is experienced in this area of the law may be able to help you develop a strategy to gather that evidence and present it to a court in a persuasive fashion.