Moving after a divorce is a good way to start fresh. For most parents, this is a local move that won’t matter much when it comes to the child custody order. If your move is going to be farther away from your current location, you need to do some homework to find out what you might need to do so you can take your children with you if you are the primary caregiver.
One thing to remember is that your ex will likely have the ability to object to the move. If this occurs, you will need to show that the move is in your child’s best interests. The court is going to look at several factors to determine if this the case. Remember, it doesn’t matter if the move is good for you. It only matters how it will affect the kids.
Reason for the move
The reason for the move is one of the primary considerations. Do you want to move for a better job opportunity? If so, you will need to show that this will benefit your child. Maybe you will have more money so you will be able to allow the child to have more extracurricular activities and provide a better quality of life.
Impact on the children
Depending on the age of the children, the court might consider how the move will affect their personal ties to the community. For example, a teen who is deeply rooted in the community, including being involved in school sports and having close friends, might not benefit from moving just prior to their senior year. The court also considers familial relationships that might suffer with the move.
Setting the parenting plan
Your parenting plan might change because of the move, if it is approved. Be sure that it includes a realistic schedule for when your children will spend time with each parent. Transportation guidelines, including how expenses will be split, and communication information should be included in the new plan. If the move is taking the child across the country or too far for regular in-person visits with the non-custodial parent, a plan for virtual visits will likely be beneficial.
Throughout the time your children are minors, you will need to work with your ex to do what is best for the kids. This might mean that the parenting plan has to be modified periodically so that you can focus on what they need right now.