Two Options For Relocating With A Child After Divorce

26 September 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog


You cannot just pack and move with your child if your divorce judgment prescribes shared custody. Otherwise, the other parent might accuse you of violating court orders or even parental kidnapping. Below are your two main options for relocating with a child after divorce.

1. Talk to the Other Parent

The best way to relocate with the child is to communicate with the other parent. Explain to the other parent why you want to move. You may also have to explain how the two of you will continue to parent the child as you have been doing. That might mean, for example, drawing up a new custody and visitation order.

Once you reach an agreement, commit to it in writing, and take it to court. The court will review the agreement and approve it if it doesn't affect the child's wellbeing. This step is crucial, don't just shake your hands on the agreement and relocate. You need something to confirm that you legally have the child in your new location.

Consider mediation if the other parent is reluctant to let you relocate with the child. A mediator will help you hear the other parent's reservations about the relocation. Maybe the other parent fears you might cut their contact with the child once you move. Use the mediation to allay those fears and agree.

2. Seek a Court Order

The second option is to seek the government's intervention. This option makes sense if you have tried talking to the other parent but failed. Be ready to prove to the court why you need to move with the child. The court will also want to know that the relocation will benefit the child or, at the very least, not harm their welfare.

Here are some factors the court may consider:

  • Your reasons for moving
  • Your current income versus your expected income after relocation
  • The child's relationship with other family members, such as grandparents, they will leave behind after relocation
  • The rationale for the other parent's objection
  • The relocation's effect on the child's education

You need evidence to convince the court of your need to move. Expert witness testimony, documentation on job offers, and eyewitness testimony on the child's relationship with other family members may help. Consult a family lawyer to help you gather evidence and convince the court.

Hopefully, the tips above will help you relocate with your child without antagonizing the other parent. Don't forget to involve the court, irrespective of the route you take to ensure your relocation with the child is legal.

For more information, contact a family law attorney near you.