What Happens When One Parent Relocates?

November 21, 2018

parent relocatesAfter a divorce, both parents may be granted custody or visitation rights to their children. However, if one parent moves away, it could complicate any arrangement that was in place. What ultimately happens when a parent relocates depends on a number of factors including why the parent left.

Which Parent Is Leaving?

A custodial parent cannot obstruct the other parent’s ability to see his or her child without consent from a judge. Therefore, that person would need approval to move away despite having custody of the child. Reasons for moving that a judge may accept include moving closer to family, moving for a job opportunity or for any other reason that would preserve the best interest of the child.

How Far Is the Parent Moving?

If a parent is moving to another state or country, that parent may need to give up certain custody rights. Instead of seeing the child on a regular basis, visitation may be restricted to when school is out or during certain holidays. If a parent is moving down the street or to the next town over, the custody arrangement won’t likely change that much.

Does a Noncustodial Parent Still Owe Child Support?

As a general rule, a custodial parent is entitled to child support regardless of how far he or she lives from the other parent. However, if a custodial parent moves, it may deprive the other parent of an ability to be a part of a child’s life. Therefore, the noncustodial parent may move to have a support order modified to reflect this.

If you are looking for legal counsel in your child custody or visitation dispute, talk to the Law Offices of Nicole Muscente. She is a NY family law attorney who will be able to help you learn more about your rights and how to preserve them.