Cobb County Relocation Lawyer

You may have any number of reasons for wanting to move out of the State of Georgia. Whatever your motivations, though, it can be difficult to relocate to another state when the custody of children comes into consideration.

Unless the other parent agrees, anyone who shares custody of children with another person and wishes to relocate can only do so with the court’s permission. This may necessitate filing an action to ask a court to intervene if the parties cannot come to an agreement.

In either situation, a Cobb County relocation lawyer may be able to help you. A skilled attorney could work to ensure that you meet the State’s written notice requirement, help you pursue a mutual agreement with your spouse, or even make the case in court as to why relocation may or may not be in your child’s best interest.

Steps to Take When Deciding to Relocate

The proposed relocation of a parent and child is a major legal undertaking. Whenever married parents decide to divorce or separate, a court must approve a custody and visitation plan which both parents are obliged to follow. In general, these plans state where the child would live, so any proposed move out of state would be a violation of this order.

However, this is not to say that such a move is impossible. According to Official Code of Georgia §19-9-3(f)(3), any proposed change of residence must start with the parent proposing the change providing written notice to the other parent. A parent may make this request at any time under the provisions established in O.C.G.A. §19-9-3(b).

A Cobb County relocation attorney could help a parent understand the legal requirements in requesting a formal relocation from a family court.

Options Following the Service of Written Notice

The court must approve all proposed relocations. However, this does not necessarily mean that the parents must submit to a formal hearing.

The primary and perhaps best option for a relocation is for the parents to enter into a mutual agreement. If one parent has a new job opportunity in another state and the other parent agrees that it provides better prospects for a child’s future, it may make sense for both parties to agree to this change.

However, since most parents have at least partial physical and legal custody over their children, asking them to agree to a move into another state may be a difficult endeavor. In these cases, the parent making the relocation must file for a formal modification of a child custody order in family court. The judge may then conduct a formal hearing to decide the matter.

At this hearing, the judge would consider the best interests of the child as the sole factor in determining whether to grant the relocation order. Specific evidence the court would consider may include:

  • The parent’s motivation for the move
  • Whether the child consents if the child is over the age of 14, although the court would also take the child’s wishes into consideration if the child is between 11 and 14
  • Whether the move would result in a proper parent/child relationship for all parents

A relocation lawyer in Cobb County could help draft a relocation agreement and make the case that a move is in the best interests of a child.

The Importance of Contacting a Cobb County Relocation Attorney

Having a shared child with another person to whom you are no longer married to or with whom you no longer live could create complications if you are hoping to move out of state. All parents have the right to keep partial custody or to maintain visitation over their children, so any proposed relocation by someone who shares custody of a child must meet the approval of the family court system.

A determined Cobb County relocation lawyer could work with you to specify your reasons for wanting a move, work with the other parent or their attorney to come to an agreement, and—if necessary—take your case to court to argue for the merits of the move. They could also help you contest a relocation if you are a non-custodial parent. Call today to discuss your options.