After a tumultuous marriage, you may be ready for a fresh start. This may mean moving to a different state to escape your ex-spouse once and for all.
Not so fast. Relocation after divorce is complicated when children are involved. If no children are involved, then you are generally free to move wherever you want. However, children complicate the process because of the custody issues involved.
In a child custody case, the court will consider the best interests of the children. That is the top priority. Is it a good idea for the children to move? Or should custody be switched to the other parent so that the children can stay in their home state?
However, there is no easy answer to child custody cases. If the children are old enough, the judge may ask them what they prefer. Both parents must be evaluated to determine who is the better parent in this case.
If the judge does allow the custodial parent to move to a different state, visitation will need to be flexible. For logistical reasons, the other parent will not be able to have custody every week or every other week. It may not be possible for them to see the child for months at a time. The parents should try to negotiate a communication schedule.
Whether you want to move for financial reasons, to get support from family or just to start a new life, don’t expect that the other parent will agree with your decision. Child custody is a tense situation as it is, so it’s likely that you’ll have to go to court to get a final decision from a judge.
Note that your child’s wellbeing is of the utmost importance. Even if you feel like you must move to be closer to family or take a better-paying job, the judge will look at how this decision will affect the children.
You will need to be prepared to prove that your child will not be impacted too much by the divorce. You will need to show that the child’s overall quality of life will improve even though they will be separated from the other parent.
You also need to consider state laws. Each state is different. In Maryland, you must give at least 90 days notice that you intend to move outside the state. If you or the other parent petitions the court within 20 days of the notice, you will be able to schedule an expedited hearing.
To escape a miserable marriage, you may be ready to relocate to a different state. While this may not be a big deal if you are on your own, it becomes a huge issue when children are involved. The court will be looking out for their best interests.
The Columbia relocation lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. can assess your situation and see if relocation may be an option for you. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987. We have two offices to serve you.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044