If you and your spouse file for divorce in Washington, there are several laws that govern how you must handle parenting issues. Depending on the details of your custody agreement, there may be restrictions on where you and your spouse may live. If you are the person with whom your children live most of the time, certain aspects of the Relocation Act may apply if you decide you want to move to another area.
Washington’s Administrative Office of the Courts provides extensive information on the Relocation Act in its Family Law Handbook. According to the handbook, the Relocation Act may apply to your situation if you have a parenting plan based on a court order. The Relocation Act may not be applicable if your children do not have a primary residential parent, which is the case in a 50/50 parenting agreement. If your situation does fall under the Relocation Act, there are several things that may affect your ability to move to a new location.
Under the Relocation Act, you must notify your ex-spouse if you plan to move. The notification requirements may change with extenuating circumstances, such as when a dangerous situation or threat of violence exists. If you plan to move out of your child’s current school district, the other parent may file an objection. In most cases, he or she must object within 30 days of your notification about the move. Then, it is up to the court to decide whether to allow you to move. Generally, relocation requires a change to the official parenting plan. If your ex-spouse does not object to your move, you may be able to agree on a new parenting plan together and then submit this plan to the court.
This information on relocation after divorce is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.