Oftentimes, many individuals feel tempted to relocate after a divorce to leave the past behind and embark on a truly fresh start somewhere new. While the concept of hitting refresh on life is undoubtedly appealing, moving out of state can cause some problems if you and your ex-spouse share minor children and are not in agreement regarding the move. Before you start packing up your belongings, there are some critical facts you need to be made aware of in order to spare yourself some legal headaches.
Here is what you need to know about relocating after a divorce:
- Presenting your case to the court: A vast amount of reasons exist for why one might want to relocate at some point after a divorce, including a remarriage, a new job, the desire to be closer to family, or to simply change the scenery. This can be beneficial for you and your children, but it is going to affect the parenting plan you have in place. This might land both of you in court and, for the parent who wants to move, you will have to file for a modification of the existing custody order to request permission to move.
Assuming you and your ex-spouse cannot reach an agreement, you will have a relocation hearing before a judge. He or she will decide if your move is in the best interests of your children and if it will provide a better quality of life, a stable environment, and if the relocating parent is better able to support their needs.
To prepare for your hearing, you should focus on putting evidence and information together that would be useful in persuading a judge. Compelling evidence should prove that the move will create a more stable financial situation for the family or that a better support system will be available at the new location. If you are moving to get married, this cannot be the only reason you offer a judge. Instead, explain that the remarriage will provide a better home, more support, improved finances, and an overall positive change for the family.
- Have a clear parenting plan: The bigger question here is how will the move affect the relationship your children have with their other parent? To answer it, you will have to come up with a plan that shows you are committed to helping your children maintain a close relationship with the other parent. You might want to consider offering lengthier visits or a plan that allows them to stay in contact more frequently. If it is possible for your ex-spouse to travel to your new location, provide a reasonable number of visits and make sure he or she has access to the children during these trips. You should also endeavor to keep your ex up to date on all information regarding your children, including school, activities, and doctor appointments.
The information and details you provide the court, the more prepared you will appear. Simply coming to court and requesting to relocate will seem vague and will likely be rejected. Show that you put some genuine thought into every detail of your move and the impact it would have on your family.
Altamonte Springs Relocation Attorney
If you are considering relocating, this process can become complex and potentially contentious if the other parent fights against your request. At the Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C., our Altamonte Springs family law attorney can help ensure the custody arrangement remains legally sound and that you reach an arrangement that is fair and meets your goals.
Contact our office today at (407) 753-4111 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you.