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Divorce, relocation and children

Parents in North Carolina may benefit from understanding more about how a divorce proceeding can be affected by child custody relocation laws. The parent who intends to relocate may be required to propose a new visitation schedule. Many times, these scenarios result in a majority of parenting time being limited to summer months, spring break and holiday breaks. Some states may require the parent who is relocating to provide a majority of the funds needed for traveling expenses. Other times, each parent may be ordered to pay 50 percent of the traveling costs.

If a relocation is impending, the parents may be required to obtain a modification to a current visitation or custody order. When the parents already share joint custody, family courts may be compelled to reevaluate their agreement. In an effort to maintain stability, courts may feel that the parent who is not relocating should retain custody of the child.

Ultimately, family courts are tasked with determining whether or not the relocation is in the best interests of the child. In some states, family courts require an agreement that provides an express consent for relocation and a proposed visitation schedule. These types of considerations are typically already included in the current custody agreement. Some family courts may require a written notice of the relocation that usually ranges from 30 to 90 days.

Parents who need more information about the rights and expectations regarding relocation and children may benefit from consulting a family lawyer. Legal counsel may be effective in assisting with negotiating terms of the relocation and visitation schedule that are amicable to both parties. These lawyers may also be able to assist with resolving other issues related to the divorce or parenting plan, such as child support or legal rights.

Source: Findlaw, "Child Custody Relocation Laws", November 19, 2014

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