When parents separate, there is an endless realm of child custody issues that can cause heartache and conflict. Relocating a child out of state ranks high on the list of conflicting issues. The reason is simple: moving a child out of state will significantly and permanently alter the course of a noncustodial parent’s relationship with the child.
Relocating a child out of state means that in-person parent-child visitation can only occur if the parent or child travels a great distance by road or air, but coordinating this travel and the exchange of children can be challenging. It is time-consuming and can be prohibitively expensive. COVID-19 has made flying undesirable for many people, making multi-state visitation logistically difficult.
The child’s needs are a critical consideration. Children need stability. This means having a predictable routine, attending school, participating in extracurricular activities, and having friends. Frequent trips between states are disruptive and hard on a child.
Combined, these factors can make maintaining in-person contact between a parent and child harder, less frequent, and more expensive.
Relocation and Best Interests
If the parents are unable to agree on the terms of the relocation, a family law attorney can help. Because of the consequences that relocation has on the parent-child relationship, North Carolina family courts consider both advantages and disadvantages of the relocation for the child.
Some of the factors that a court may consider in entering its order include:
- The advantages of how the relocation will improve the life of the child.
- The reasons for the move, and whether there is an intention to deprive the other parent of access.
- The likelihood that the custodial parent will comply with visitation orders when he or she is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of North Carolina.
- The integrity of the noncustodial parent in resisting the relocation.
- The likelihood that a realistic visitation schedule can be arranged which will preserve and foster the relationship between the child and the noncustodial parent.
Contact New Direction Family Law
If you or your children’s other parent plans to relocate, you should speak with an attorney. Relocating with a requires thoughtfulness and consideration. Courts take these matters seriously, and the lawyers at New Direction Family Law understand how to obtain your best outcome. You have a voice and you have legal rights. We serve clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. If you need assistance, call New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation or visit us online through our website.