Moving Out of State and Joint Custody

By Brenna Davis

Joint custody is an arrangement in which both parents remain involved in their child's life. As a result, courts are more likely than ever before to grant either physical or legal joint custody. Moving out of state can complicate joint custody arrangements and a parent may need a court's permission for the move. Some parenting plans establish a specific procedure for the parent to follow.

Joint custody is an arrangement in which both parents remain involved in their child's life. As a result, courts are more likely than ever before to grant either physical or legal joint custody. Moving out of state can complicate joint custody arrangements and a parent may need a court's permission for the move. Some parenting plans establish a specific procedure for the parent to follow.

Physical Vs. Legal

Many people believe that joint custody means each parent has equal time with the child, but time is shared only in joint physical custody agreements. In joint legal custody, one parent may provide the child's primary residence, but both parents have equal say in decisions regarding the child. When one parent moves, joint legal custody is much easier to maintain than joint physical custody.

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Legal Procedure

In most states, one divorced parent must notify the other well in advance of the move if she wishes to leave the state. Many states allow the parent who is not moving to request a hearing about the move. A judge will hear evidence about whether the move is in the child's best interest and may either authorize the move or deny it. If the move is denied, the parent who wishes to move can still move, but may not be permitted to take the child with her. If the move is authorized, the judge will typically alter the custody arrangement so the child still has time with the other parent.

Maintaining Joint Custody

When one parent moves, the child's physical time with the other parent can be severely compromised. Judges typically try to find a practical way to maintain the relationship. For example, the child may spend summers with the parent who did not move. The new custody order may also require the parents to foster frequent communication after the move. In joint legal custody arrangements, a move will not affect decision-making authority; thus, both parents must still participate in making decisions about the child.

Effect on Child

Moving can be difficult for children, even when they live with both of their parents, as it often takes time for a child to adjust to a move. The stress of a move becomes worse when a child is taken away from the parent with whom she has the most frequent contact. Therefore, parents should avoid moving far away from the other parent unless absolutely necessary.

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California Child Custody Laws About Moving Away

References

Related articles

The Tennessee Joint Custody Relocation Statute

Tennessee law does not prevent a divorced parent from moving out of state, but if you have a joint custody arrangement, the other parent may be able to prevent you from taking your child with you. If you move, you will likely need a new parenting plan with an updated visitation schedule, which you may agree to with your ex-spouse. If the parents can't agree on new custody and visitation arrangements, the court may modify the schedule for you or prevent you from relocating the child if it concludes the move is not in the child's best interest.

Wisconsin Child Support Laws When the Custodial Parent Moves

In Wisconsin, courts award a combination of custody -- legal and physical -- according to the child’s best interests. Legal custody is the right to make important decisions for the child, while physical custody, called physical placement in Wisconsin, is the day-to-day care of the child. The child’s visitation with the noncustodial parent is referred to as “periods of placement.” When the custodial parent moves, the noncustodial parent has the option of challenging the move, but the move, if allowed, may impact periods of placement and child support.

Michigan Child Custody Laws & Moving Restrictions

Relocation plans often result in conflict between divorced parents if one parent wants to move away with the children. As part of a parental relocation, known as a change of residence in Michigan, a parent may need to obtain court approval before moving. In some cases, the other parent may ask the court to restrict the move. However, some moves do not require court approval.

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