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Family custody concerning move-away cases

Child custody cases can be hard for judges to decide, and if the custodial parent subsequently wishes to move, making a determination can be even harder. In these cases one party may seek to relocate with their child to another area, whether it be 60 miles away to a suburb in North Carolina or 6,000 miles away. Once separated the decision of where the child will live and the kind of relationship they will have with the other parent must be made. If granted the move, the parent without custody will miss out on much of the child's life. But if denied, the child may end up separated from the parent with who he or she has the closest bond.

Often times a job or remarriage necessitates a move. Sometimes the non-moving parent is allowed the majority of holidays and vacation, but this is a problem with young children who can't be away from the other parent. In these types of cases the court will need to decide on whether or not to allow the relocation. Each state has different rules but the general rule is that the best interests of the child should be paramount in the decision.

Factors often include the importance of continuity in the life of the child, the distance of the move, the reason for the move, the child's age, how well the parents communicate with each other, where the child wants to live, and the child's relationship with each parent.

Determining the effect on child custody of a proposed relocation is often difficult. A family law attorney may be able to advise a parent who is faced with such a decision.

Source: The Huffington Post, "In the Child's Best Interest: What It Means in Move-Away Cases", Lisa Helfend Meyer , February 12, 2014

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