Divorce is a difficult and highly emotional period in anyone’s life. The inclusion of children in any divorce often causes the proceedings to become further muddled. Both parents want what is best for their children, but they also want to ensure that they will maintain an ongoing relationship with their children. While one parent will be the primary custodian that the child will permanently live with, there is still an option for joint custody, the details of which are often determined through a parenting agreement. However, unfortunately child custody disputes can become difficult to maintain over time. One parent may be offered a job which is hundreds of miles away from the other parent and may attempt to relocate and move the child far away. If you are facing the potential relocation of your child, it is important that you understand the parenting rights you have.
During child custody arrangements, courts will look at a variety of factors in determining custody arrangements, including:
Courts may impose a restriction on the primary custodial parent which prevents the parent from moving outside a specified area. This restriction ensures that both parents maintain easy access to the child. However, the parent with primary custody may sometimes think that they have the right to move the child’s permanent resident. Most child custody agreements will specifically address the possibility of moving with a child, with most moves requiring court intervention or an agreement by both parents. If this move has not been considered by a court or both parents, the parent facilitating a move or relocation may be prevented from taking the child away from the prescribed residence.
During a relocation, a court may determine whether the move is in the best interests of the child. While a court may not prevent a parent from moving from the set area, the court may transfer primary custody from one parent to another to ensure the child stays in the same location. A court will consider many different factors in coming to its decision, including the best interests of the child, the child’s wishes, and the ease with which both parents will be able to visit the child. If both parents lived in the same city immediately following a child custody agreement, a court will often seek to maintain this same close proximity between parents. A move out of state would severely affect the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent and may delay ongoing visits. If you have questions regarding your right to relocation or your right to prevent your child’s relocation, an experienced family law attorney will be able to assist you in determining the best course of action.
If you are involved in a child custody dispute involving relocation, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Viles Law Firm. Our firm has nearly twenty years of experience in assisting our clients with family law issues which occur as the result of divorce or child custody disputes. Our attorneys will fight for your rights to remain near your child. Relocation not only uproots your child from their school, friendships, and established routine, but it could drastically impact your own relationship with your child. Contact our Phoenix, Arizona office today for your initial free consultation.