Sharing child custody with an ex can be a challenging situation to navigate. You may not always agree on what is best for your kids, particularly when it comes to who they will live with and where they will live.
Even after custody terms have finally been agreed upon, some custodial parents may find themselves needing to relocate out of state for work, a new relationship or family support. If your former partner wants to move your kids out of state and you disagree with the decision, you may be able to prevent it by enforcing your child custody terms or seeking a new custody or visitation arrangement that allows you to still have access to your children.
Understanding the relocation process
It doesn’t matter if you have joint custody of your children or just visitation rights, your ex cannot move your children out of state without seeking approval first, either from you directly or in court. He or she needs to first file an intent to relocate; after the form has been filed, you will be given a specific time period in which to respond. If you wish to challenge the request, there is an official form you will need to file before a hearing on the matter can be scheduled.
If the thought of fighting your ex in court about child custody seems overwhelming, know that you are not alone in feeling that way. The good news is that you do not have to navigate the hearing on your own. You have the right to present your argument under the guidance of professional legal counsel.
Relocation cases can only have one of two endings: either your ex will be granted approval to move your kids out of state or they won’t. How you approach the situation can mean the difference between keeping your children in the state of Washington or having to find more creative ways to spend time with them. With the help of legal counsel, you can fight for what you believe is best for your family.