Often times, in cases where parents are not in a romantic relationship, one parent will want to move to a new location without the other parent. This could be because family is located somewhere else, because there is a job opportunity in a different location or a variety of other reasons.
If you want to move, the first step should be to talk about this with the other parent. I believe the only exception to this is if you have been the victim of domestic violence in which case speaking to the other parent about this is probably not a good idea. In any event, if the two of you agree that a move is in the best interest of the child(ren), then the issue is resolved. If you reach an agreement with the other parent, I suggest contacting a lawyer so that this can be put in writing.
But, what if an agreement can’t be reached? Then, the decision of whether relocation should be permitted rests with a Family Court judge. These cases are notoriously difficult.
There is no hard and fast rule as to whether the move should be allowed. Rather, the Court will consider a variety of factors, all of which pertain to what is best for the child(ren) involved. Here are some of the factors the Court can consider:
- How involved each of the parents have been in the child(ren)’s life
- The impact of the move on the child(ren)’s future visitation with the other parent
- What will the standard of living be for the child(ren) in each of the competing locations
- Which location has better school districts
- The parent’s reasons for seeking or opposing the move