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Getting Court Permission to Move Your Children Out of State After Your Divorce

After divorce, people may have a newfound freedom to explore various opportunities. They may enter a new relationship; reconnect with old friends, relatives and acquaintances; or change jobs. But, sometimes, the only way to take advantage of new opportunities is to move to a new locale. For custodial parents, who need the courts permission to remove their children from the state, this means renegotiating your current custody agreement or litigating the issue in court.

If you have a cooperative co-parenting relationship with the other parent, you may be able to work out a time-sharing agreement where one of you has the children during the school year and the other has them during the summer months and certain holidays. But arriving at such an agreement requires you to settle several matters:

  • Should your children enroll in new schools at your new location or continue at their current schools?
  • Would the travel be too burdensome on your children and too expensive for you?
  • Would your children enjoy a better quality of life due to the move?
  • How do your children view the possibility of such a move?

If you and the other parent can resolve these issues, you can present a new custody agreement to the court for approval. However, the court will only approve a relocation if, considering the totality of the circumstances, it is in the best interests of your children.

That same standard applies if you cannot come to an agreement with your spouse and decide to litigate the issue in family court. The court considers several factors when deciding whether relocation is in the children’s best interest, including the quality of the relationship the noncustodial parent has with the children and the impact the move might have on that parent’s ability to maintain a healthy, loving relationship.

The key to getting court permission for relocation is not to demonstrate that your life will be better, but to present evidence that strongly suggests your children’s lives will be better. If you are leaving for a better job, better home, better neighborhood, and a better school system, you can make a strong case that your children will be better off. However, the court must weigh those circumstances against the loss your children may suffer by being removed from their current locale and having their other parent at such a great distance.

If you’d like further information about relocation based on your specific circumstances, schedule a free consultation with our family law attorneys at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

 

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  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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