It's common for parents to want to move before the new school year gets started so that the children don't have to worry about being pulled out mid-year. However, it's not a good idea to wait to the last second, or month, before. Here's why.
In general, the custodial parent must notify both the courts and the noncustodial parent of the intent to relocate with the child. This usually needs to be done at least a month in advance, but the exact time period depends on what the court order says. How far you can move without having to get the court's approval also depends on your order. In some cases, you may be able to move within the county. In others, it may be limited to the school district.
If your ex disagrees with the relocation or it is a long enough distance to warrant a change in the parenting time order, a modification will need to be done. The parent asking for the modification must show the courts that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances since the original court order and that the modification will be in the child's best interest.
If both parents are able to agree on the new custody and parenting terms, this can be a fairly smooth process, but it can still take some time. If the noncustodial parent objects, however, it can turn into a months' long legal battle. While it may be tempting to surprise your ex with a move and hope that he or she won't do anything about it, this isn't a good idea. If there is an issue with the custody or parenting time changes, you may find yourself having to postpone the move until the courts make the final ruling.