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Can you relocate with your child after a divorce is final?

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2023 | Divorce |

Can you relocate with your child after a divorce is final?

Your divorce will change many different things about your life, and you could be ready for a fresh start once the proceedings are final. As part of your new beginning, you may consider moving to another city or state. If you have minor children, moving after a divorce is more complex than simply making the decision to do so. You will also have to consider the interests of your children and the rights of the other parent as well.

If you wish to move after your divorce is final, you will benefit from first learning about your rights and options. State laws and other factors could determine whether this is truly an option for you, and if it is, how to navigate this process the right way. With the appropriate guidance, you can make choices that will benefit your kids and set your family up for post-divorce success.

Your parenting plan has a lengthy section on procedures to follow if you need to relocate your children. If the move is within the same school district, the process is fairly simple, but you still need to notify the other parent. If the move is out of the school district, the other parent has the right to a court hearing. The parenting plan may need modification. If you move without a court order, you could very well be ordered to return the child. It will help immensely if you have an experienced attorney representing you in any court proceedings.

Making this process smooth and easy for the entire family is essential

Divorce will have a significant impact on the younger members of the family. For this reason, you may want to carefully consider the ways that a relocation could affect your kids. They will experience transitions in multiple areas of their lives, and moving to another state or city could compound the emotional and mental strain they are experiencing. As you consider a move, the following tips may be helpful:

  • Know your legal rights and options — The terms of your custody order may not permit you to move the kids a certain distance from the other parent. Knowing your options and understanding parental rights can help determine if a relocation is possible.
  • Consider the kids’ comfort — You should view any decisions that affect your kids from the perspective of how they could impact them. In some cases, it may be best to wait until the kids have had time to adjust after the divorce is final. In other cases, it may be essential to relocate as soon as possible, for example due to an employment change.

The end of a marriage can be difficult for the youngest members of the family. As a Washington parent, you understand the importance of making decisions that will provide your kids with comfort, stability and as much continuity of lifestyle as possible. If you are considering a relocation or other major decision during or after your divorce, you may benefit from legal advice regarding your options, and the potential impact these things can have on your kids.