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Can I relocate with my kids after divorce?

After you divorce is final, you may want a fresh start. You may want to move, to accept a better job in a new city or relocate closer to family members out of state who can help you care for your children. However, can you relocate after divorce if you have parenting plan established with your ex?

Negotiating a move and child custody modification

If you have primary custody or joint custody of your children, you will have to notify your ex about relocating. You likely will have to renegotiate your parenting plan or child custody agreement if your ex agrees. Or if your ex opposes you relocating, you may end up in court over your child custody agreement.

Each state has different standards when evaluating whether to allow a relocation after divorce when children are involved. In Washington, you have to show that you have a good faith reason for moving to maintain your child custody agreement. This includes if you are moving to:

  • Take a new job
  • Go back to college
  • Be closer to family

Getting an attorney’s help

You want to work closely with an experienced family law attorney if you plan to relocate and want to maintain primary custody of your children. You want to show the court you aren’t trying to cut your ex out of your child’s life and your move will benefit your child.

You also want an attorney to help you advocate for you, to show how important your involvement is in your child’s life and how you can provide a stable environment for your child. You don’t want to take the chance of trying to represent yourself in an important child custody hearing if your ex objects to your relocation plans.

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31919 1st Avenue South, Suite 103
Federal Way, WA 98003

Toll Free:888-351-6779
Phone: 253-954-3351
Fax: 253-815-8458
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Seattle, WA 98115

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Bellevue, WA 98007

Toll Free: 888-351-6779
Phone: 253-954-3351
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