In pre-decree cases, the court is required to accept where a party is intending to live and fashion a parenting plan accordingly and in the children’s best interests. In post-decree cases, in determining whether to allow one party to move out of state with the children, the court will consider whether the relocation is in the best interests of the children and will also take into consideration several factors. These factors are:
- The reasons why the party wishes to relocate with the child
- The reasons why the opposing party is objecting to the proposed relocation
- The history and quality of each party’s relationship with the child since any previous parenting time order
- The educational opportunities for the child at the existing location and at the proposed new location
- The presence or absence of extended family at the existing location and the proposed new location
- Any advantages of the child remaining with the primary caregiver
- The anticipated impact of the move on the child
- Whether the court will be able to fashion a reasonable parenting time schedule if the change requested is permitted
- Any other relevant factors bearing on the best interest of the child.
If you are planning to relocate with your children and need to relocate by a specific date (i.e. for a job offer), it is important that you retain an attorney and/or file your case as quickly as possible. These cases can take time and you will want to ensure that the court will have adequate time to make a decision.