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If you have shared custody of your children, can you move without your co-parent’s consent?

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2021 | Family Law |

Sharing custody with your ex can be difficult for many reasons, and it may change your life for more than a decade. Even when you’re divorced, you still have to consider your ex when making major life decisions because you share responsibilities for your children together.

One way that this can impact you is if you want to move to a new location. Generally, people think of it as their right to move whenever and wherever they want within the United States. If you’re sharing custody, though, a move may actually violate your ex’s custody rights by ensuring that they cannot see the kids. 

That doesn’t mean, however, that a move is necessarily impossible. You just have to show the court that you have a valid reason for the change.

Valid reasons to move with your children

Generally speaking, you need to show that your desire to move stems from what you believe is an opportunity (and not an attempt to penalize your co-parent or deprive them of custody). This is known as a good-faith reason. Examples of good-faith reasons for a move include:

  • Moving because you got into a college or university and you want to continue your education.
  • Moving because you need assistance raising the children and the move brings you closer to extended family members, like your own parents.
  • Moving because someone offered you a job that will pay more than the one you currently have.
  • Moving because you think the move will improve your child’s life in some way — providing a better cost of living, getting them into a better school system, etc.

Basically, the court just wants to make sure that you’re not attempting to take over with sole custody, rather than the court-order shared custody, by moving so far that your ex can’t see the children.

Never move without taking all of the proper legal steps

If you want to move with your children after your divorce, you can expect the issue to be contentious. Working with an experienced attorney can help you present a persuasive argument to the court for your goals.

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