When couples separate, there are many changes that they end up undertaking in their daily lives. Partners often end up living separately, adjusting to new ways of life and even preparing a new financial budget.
Another challenge that commonly arises is when one partner wishes to move to a new location in another city or state. Many ex-spouses consider relocation after a divorce because it allows them a fresh start.
However, relocating with children can cause tension between partners. How will the non-custodial parent maintain contact with their children? Will the kids be safe in their new environment? Indeed, there are many questions that surround relocation. In most cases, a family court will evaluate relocation plans and determine what's in the best interests of the child.
Here are a few things that the court will carefully consider.
1. The age and maturity of your children
If your children are old enough to express their interests and wishes, the court will ask your children what they would prefer to do. The court will assess the age and maturity of your children as they express their wishes. They will also use the child's responses to determine the relationship that they share with each parent.
If you are the custodial parent and your intent to relocate is in your children's best interests, you have a good chance of winning the case.
2. The nature of the new location
The court will also find out more about your intent to relocate. Where will you be moving to? What is the reason? Will your children be able to cope at the new location? Will they be safe? If the move is for personal preferences and it will cause significant disruption to your children's daily life, the court is likely to question your intent to move.
However, other relocation requests may be necessary. For example, you may have received a job transfer to a new state, and you're the primary supporter of the family (and primary custodian of the children). In such cases, you may have a valid case for relocation.
3. Any history of psychological harm or domestic violence
If your ex-spouse caused the family physical or psychological harm, you may be considering relocation for the safety of your children. Such circumstances form a strong case in your favour.
Many ex-spouses may wish to have a fresh start in an environment that is safe from abuse or violence. If the needs of the children can be met at their new location, such circumstances are valid grounds for relocation. Contact a lawyer who works in family law to learn more.