Moving a child out of state is usually a very emotional decision. There may be many good reasons for it – a new job, a desire to be closer to family, or even the need to make a fresh start. However, if you are the custodial parent and want to move with your child out of state, your first step needs to be to consult with a child custody lawyer to ensure you obtain the court’s permission to do so.
One of the first things your child custody attorney will tell you is: do NOT move out of state without notifying the court. Failing to do this could put you in legal jeopardy, and is a risky legal move for both you and your child.
The right of both parents to be a positive influence in the lives of their children – and the protection of those rights – is something a court takes very seriously. In all child custody matters – and especially those that involve relocation – the court will be guided by what is in the best interest of the child.
The court will look very carefully at the impact a move will have on the child, and in doing so will consider a number of factors, including:
- The circumstances that have led the custodial parent to want to move – for example, a new job or reassignment;
- How a move will impact the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights;
- If the move may have been motivated by a desire to “take the child away” from the non-custodial parent;
- How the move will affect visitation by the non-custodial parent.
If the court grants approval for relocation, and you are the custodial parent who may now be concerned about collecting support payments once you move to another state, there are steps you can take to continue to collect support.
Under the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, an order for support issued in one state must be enforced by another state if certain conditions are met. The custodial parent has two options for collecting support: register the order for support in the county where the payer lives or instigate an action to enforce the support award in the family court where you now live.
You should contact a child custody attorney in your new location who can walk you through the process of support collection.
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