Relocation Disputes in Washington State
Sometimes going your separate ways after divorce means literally moving to another city or another state. However, when children are involved, pulling up stakes is not such a simple matter. After a parenting plan has been entered in a divorce case, the custodial parent must serve the other parent with a Notice of Intented Relocation. If the non-custodial parent file an objection the custodial parent must get permission from the court to relocate the children, setting up what is often one of the biggest confrontations in family law.
Clement Law Center has represented custodial and non-custodial parents in these tense and bitter disputes. We have successfully argued in favor of relocations when it made sense for the child, and against them when it served only the selfish motives of the custodial parent. There is seldom middle ground — you either move away or you don't. In some cases it is possible to work out a practical visitation agreement without a courtroom fight.
Federal Way Relocation Attorneys
The custodial parent is required to give a formal Notice of Intented Relocation, and the non-custodial parent has 30 days to object. If the non-custodial parent objects, and no out-of-court agreement is reached, a trial is scheduled.
The court uses eleven statutory factors to determine if relocation is in the best interests of the child. Petitions are usually approved if the custodial parent can show a good faith reason for moving. Good faith reasons might include a new job, going back to college, or moving closer to family. Relocating merely to move in with a new boyfriend/girlfriend, or to cut the other parent out of the picture, would likely be denied.
If indications point to approval of relocation, we can suggest revisions to the parenting plan to preserve the parent-child bond across the many miles: extra time in the summer and on holidays; frequent contact during the week by webcam, e-mail and phone; and perhaps modified child support or shared costs of visitation travel.
Washington State Custody Attorney for Contested Relocation
We can and do fight these battles in court. Parental rights lawyer Bruce Clement is a veteran litigator with more than 30 years of court experience across the state of Washington. He is known for achieving positive results for his clients in interstate and international custody disputes.
Contact Clement Law Center to arrange a free, initial consultation. Call us at 253-336-3607 or 888-351-6779 to schedule your appointment, or e-mail us.