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How parent relocation can affect child custody arrangments

One of the things that make child custody decisions difficult is relocation issues. This is when the custodial parent seeks to move away to another geographical location with the child. Since the best interests of the child have always been of utmost importance in child custody issues, a move-away could open up a number of complications and put a strain on the relationship of the child with his or her parents.

Every state is governed by its own set of family laws that help determine whether relocation is in the child’s best interests. The distance of the move is a major issue in most state family laws. Not only could this translate to loss of parenting time for the non-custodial parent, but it may also subject the child to a new environment that might put him or her under undue pressure.

The custodial parent should have a valid reason for the relocation, such as remarriage or a new job. If the reason is found to be in bad faith, the family law court may not approve the move. Even the child’s wishes should be taken into consideration, as some states permit children above a certain age to have a say on who his or her preferred custodial parent is. The relationship of the child with each parent, as well as the age of the child, will also be factored into the decision.

Communication between two parents is of utmost importance when it comes to relocation issues. For parents in the New Jersey area who cannot agree, the help of family law attorneys may offer assistance in settling the child custody dispute and arriving at a solution that will uphold the best interests of the child.

Source: Huff Post Divorce, “In the Child’s Best Interest: What It Means in Move-Away Cases,” Lisa Helfend Meyer, Feb. 12, 2014

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