After a divorce, one spouse may want to move away to get a fresh start, be near their family, or begin a higher-paying job. The other parent might worry about losing their relationship with their children when their co-parent moves.
Wanting to begin with a clean slate is natural, but it’s not easy if children are involved. In most cases, a judge must give you permission for relocation. Likewise, if you’re worried about an ex’s decision to relocate, you can show a judge that the move wouldn’t serve your child’s best interests.
Whether you want to start over somewhere else or prevent your co-parent from leaving town with your child, Freed Marcroft’s family attorneys understand the stakes. A West Hartford relocation lawyer can provide a list of factors the divorce court may consider and help you prepare your case. They will review your existing custody orders that impact your parents’ ability to relocate, explain them to you, and provide you with your rights and options.
Relocation Not Guaranteed
Although there’s no law against a person moving away after divorce, the situation is different if they’re a parent with shared custody or visitation rights. Divorce courts presume that having a continuing, meaningful relationship with both parents will aid a child’s development and help them thrive. Judges won’t rubber-stamp a parent’s desire to move children away from their other parent.
Parents wishing to relocate with their children should discuss with their attorney how to broach the subject with their co-parent. It may be possible to agree on a revised parenting plan that permits the move and adjusts parenting time accordingly. A West Hartford attorney can assist you in reaching a relocation agreement and submit it to the divorce court in writing for review.
If the co-parent opposes the move, the relocating parent must bring a motion in divorce court seeking to change the parenting plan. They must prove they want to move for legitimate reasons and not to deny the other parent access. More critically, they must also show a relocation supports the best interests of their children.
Considering the Best Interests of the Children When Moving
When a divorce court must decide a matter that affects a child, it must be in the child’s best interests. A parent contemplating relocation must understand a judge’s considerations when applying this standard.
A judge may look at numerous aspects of the potential relocation, including:
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- Age, health, and temperament of the child
- Financial or cultural advantages the child might gain
- Length of time the child has lived in their current home
- Supportive relationships that might be weakened or strengthened
- Whether the non-relocating parent could maintain regular visitation
- Impact on the child’s education, especially if they have special needs
A West Hartford relocation attorney can use these considerations and craft arguments demonstrating how your preferred outcome benefits your child.
The Judge’s Order
Whatever a judge decides, it’s legally binding. A parent unhappy with the decision could appeal it, but until the appeal is resolved, they must comply with the order. Judges sometimes deny the right to move with the children even if both parents agreed that they could do so. The key is that Connecticut judges won’t approve the parents’ agreements unless they’re convinced it supports the children’s best interests.
If the judge approves relocation, they might modify custody to allow more parenting time to the parent remaining behind. For example, if a child spends every weekend with a non-custodial parent, the judge could order them to spend all school vacations and holidays with them.
Contact Our West Hartford Relocation Attorney Now
Whether you wish to move away or prevent your co-parent from leaving with your child, you must convince a judge that your goals are best for your child. You need an attorney who provides solid legal advice and advocacy.
A West Hartford relocation lawyer from Freed Marcroft has the knowledge and experience to get your desired result. Schedule a consultation to learn more.