When custodial parents choose to relocate with their children, it can greatly disrupt their child custody situations. More commonly than not, the noncustodial parent may object to the relocation on the grounds that the long distance relationship between parent and child will create an unnecessary rift between the two.
Because of this, judges are deliberate in weighing the perceived benefits associated with making such moves. Ultimately the decision they make is supposed to center around what is in the best interest of the child, even if that involves denying the custodial parent's request to move out of state with the minor children.
While requirements vary depending on jurisdiction, it's generally required that custodial parents request and receive express consent to relocate. This clause is usually included within the parenting plan drafted when the custody case was originally settled. As part of this, parents must devise visitation schedules that give their childrren ample opportunity to spend with each parent.
In some jurisdictions, parents are required to give written notice of their intention to relocate. The amount of advance notice a parent is required to provide can range from as few as 30 to as many as 90 days. This time frame is seen as giving the noncustodial parent ample opportunity to respond by filing a motion challenging the relocation request.
Some jurisdictions also place restrictions on how far parents can relocate from the child's original home base. And in some, relocations out of state are altogether forbidden.
Adequate reasons must be given to the judge and the other spouse to justify why a relocation is being made. Some grounds on which a parent may be able to get a judge to approve their request is if they are making the move to an area where the cost of living is lower, to be near family or because a job or educational opportunity is available.
If you're looking to relocate with your child to a new area, then you may benefit from discussing your case with a Fort Myers child custody attorney.
Source: FindLaw, "Child custody relocation laws," accessed June 16, 2017