Columbia Relocation Lawyer
During their adult lives, the average person moves about eleven times. Most of these moves occur before age 40, when minor children may be involved. In a congested area like Howard County where it is sometimes difficult to get around, even a relatively short-distance move could have significant effects on a parenting plan or other family law matter. So, Maryland has some laws in place to cover these eventualities.
The experienced Columbia relocation lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink use proven methods to deal with relocation issues. We always work to find long-lasting, cost-effective solutions in these cases. Many times, we can work out a settlement with minimal disruption on your family’s life. However, if the matter becomes contested, we do not back away from a fight. Rather, we always serve as a strong voice for you.
The Relocation Timeline in Columbia
Default relocations are very common in Maryland. Sometimes, when the residential parent moves, the nonresidential parent does not want to agree to the move but does not want to fight it either.
In most cases, the relocating parent must give notice to the court at least 90 days before the proposed move. There are two main exceptions to the 90-day rule:
- Child Endangerment: Sometimes, the residential parent must move to get away from an abusive ex-spouse. In these cases, the relocating parent need not provide prior notice. Such a requirement would defeat the purpose of the move and possibly endanger the children.
- Financial Emergencies: In situations like eviction or foreclosure, or the imminent threat of eviction or foreclosure, any prior notice is usually sufficient.
The notice must meet the court’s requirements for such notices, if any exist, and be sent certified mail to the other parent. After receipt of notice, the other parent has twenty days to file a petition to block the proposed move. If there is no such petition, the relocating parent may move with the children. If the other parent files papers, the matter moves to the next step.
Will a Howard County Judge Allow Relocation?
Parents may have an absolute Constitutional right to travel within the country and move where they want. But that same right does not apply to children under court supervision. The judge must make this determination, and the judge normally allows such moves after considering some factors like:
- Age, health, and general well-being of the children,
- Relationship between the children and the parent attempting to block the move,
- Intent of the relocating parent (e.is s/he trying to interfere with the other parent’s visitation),
- Any history of abandonment, and
- Agreements between the parents concerning moves and relocations.
The relocating parent has the burden of proof in these cases. The judge directly resolves some relocation disputes, but most of them settle out of court in mediation.
A relocation petition may not cover all relocation issues. For example, many residential changes involve job changes as well. Such events could mean a modification to child support or alimony payments, and these changes must be addressed in a separate motion.
Contact a Dedicated Columbia Relocation Lawyer
Maryland judges only allow relocations which are in the best interests of the children. For a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney in Columbia, contact the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. After-hours visits are available.