Child custody agreements may be difficult to work out for Washington couples going through a divorce, but these issues are often compounded when one or both parents plan to relocate. Divorce often means starting a new life, and this may mean moving in order to take advantage of new opportunities. When children are involved in the relocation process, there may be additional challenges to face that pertain to visitation, physical custody, orders for child support payments and reimbursement for travel costs.
There are a number of ways that parents can work through visitation and custody in divorce and relocation situations, but the laws pertaining to such issues vary by state. Express consent is one of the easiest agreements in that it allows for relocation when both parents have agreed upon the terms. Notice and consent is the process by which a parent must notify the custodial parent of intent to relocate within a certain time period. In such a case, some states allow the custodial parent to file a motion to stop the relocation.
Distance can also play a part in relocation and custody decisions. A state may have a law that places restrictions on one parent who wants to move across state lines or outside of a certain distance boundary within the same state. Additionally, good and bad faith relocation considerations are taken into account when one parent wants to move in order to better the children's lives or to retaliate against the other parent by separating the children.
Relocation disputes can be difficult and complex in nature, and they often require the assistance of a skilled family law attorney. A lawyer can provide representation if a relocation matter needs to be litigated in court. In addition, legal counsel could help negotiate equitable custody and visitation rights to support the best interests of any children involved in the divorce.