If you have recently divorced or are considering divorce, you may also be considering moving to another city or state. Perhaps you want a fresh start or you just want to get away from your ex. You may have a new relationship that is compelling you to move. Regardless of your circumstances, you should have a complete understanding of relocation rights before moving or trying to relocate your children. While it may seem like a refreshing getaway, there are important legal considerations that could impact your rights.
Whether you have sole custody or shared custody, your former spouse still maintains rights to visitation. This can be significantly complicated if you relocate. Our Birminghamchild custody attorneys are experienced in helping parents protect their rights to custody during the divorce process. We are also aware of the complex nature of away custody, interstate relocation, and the potential for legal conflicts involving long-distance custody disputes. We take an individualized approach to understand the objectives of each client and work to align with the best interests of the children.
Relocation is also known as a “move-away” motion and must be requested by the court if your former spouse does not agree. A motion for court approval can be complicated and you must demonstrate that your move is in the best interests of your children. Getting court approval can take time, so if you are considering a move-away motion, it is best to act as soon as possible to get the process started. Courts may take months, possibly years to give a final approval, but working with an experienced advocate who can help present the best possible case can be more effective.
Parents who want to move-away for their own reasons should genuinely consider whether the move is in the best interests of their children. While they may benefit from a new experience, city, region, or even culture, how will they respond to leaving family and friends? If your spouse will lose time with your children, consider how that may damage the relationship. Overall, it is important to consider the various factors that will impact the lives of your children—personally, financially, and emotionally.
Being prepared can also help you present your case to the court. If you already have a job, a place to live, and know where your children will attend school, this will help the court see that the move is, in fact, in the best interests of your children. Demonstrating that you have family in a new city or state can also help the court understand your support network. The court will ask you to articulate the reasons why the move is in the best interests of your children. Of course, all of these questions will be even more complicated if you are considering moving to another country. International custody laws are complex and governed by state law, federal law, as well as treaties. If you have questions about moving with your children, it is important to consult with an experienced child custody attorney.
Contact Birmingham divorce and family law attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.