Some of the most difficult cases for family law judges to broker are those that involve one parent petitioning the courts to move away with their child. It's never easy for them to tell a mom or dad that the days of them sharing one week on and another week off is going to come to an end and be replaced by extended visits at spread-out intervals during the year.
When deciding whether a child should be allowed to move away with a parent, there are generally a few factors a judge considers.
A judge will often take into account the child's age. Younger kids tend to develop an attachment to one parent who they spend the bulk of their time with. Older kids may be capable of voicing their preference as to whether they want to live with one parent or the other. Some teens may have even developed a resentment toward their mom or dad. If any of these situations exist, then they may make the decision easier on the judge.
How involved a parent is in the child's life and how motivated that the parent wishing to move away is to co-parent with their ex will also likely impact a judge's decision. How likely they are to continue to encourage a strong bond with the other parent also matters.
A judge will want to know how far away the move is and what is motivating the move before they approve it. Often times, a judge will want to know that it's being done to be closer to close family, to take a job or to pursue an educational opportunity. It's important that the move is not for a frivolous reason.
When a parent is tasked with justifying what is in the best interest of a child, emotions can often get in the way. That can affect how a judge rules in your case. That's why it can helpful to have a Fort Myers child custody attorney represent you when proposed parenting plan modification requests are being made.