Let us say that you and your former spouse have been divorced for three years and have had few problems with respect to the visitation schedule set up for spending time with your son.
Now your ex, the custodial parent, seeks to relocate and wants to modify the original child custody order, but you do not have confidence in the move. What will the court decide?
What prompted the request
Your former father-in-law has just retired and has extra time on his hands. As grandparents, he and his wife would like to spend more time with their grandchild, who returns their affection. Your ex wants to make that happen, but they live in the next state. Hence, the relocation petition.
What you should do
First, keep in mind that your ex is a home-based technical writer who can live anywhere. She occasionally travels, and being near her parents, who are willing to care for the boy in her absence, would be a boon. If you are still hesitant about the relocation idea and believe you have reason to be, you must present proof to the court that backs up your objection.
What the court considers
The court is never eager to approve a relocation request when it involves a move out of state. However, here are the points that the judge will frequently consider:
- The age of the child
- The distance between the old and new homes
- Whether the child will receive equivalent opportunities for education as well as leisure pursuits in the new area
The court will discuss other concerns as well. What are the travel plans for visitation? Should you receive extended vacation visits with your son? How does your child feel about the move?
What will finally happen
You want to get all the facts out for consideration because your approval will be important if the modification of the child custody agreement is to go forward. If the court finds that the request for relocation is reasonable and would, in fact, benefit your son, the just is likely to grant the request.