Family courts will always keep the best interests of a child in mind when making decisions concerning a custodial parent’s wish to relocate with their child. Accordingly, a parent wishing to relocate with a child must make a formal motion in court to achieve this goal.
While this may be relatively simple when both parents agree to the move, the case could become complicated if the non-custodial parent wishes to contest the motion. Non-custodial parents and other relatives also have rights that must be respected in these matters.
A Forsyth County relocation lawyer could help you if the relocation of a child has become an issue in your life. Skilled family attorneys could work to convince a court of the necessity of a move, pursue an agreement that simplifies the move, or even contest the move if you object to the proposal.
All parenting plans following a divorce or a separation of non-married parents are legal documents created by a family court. Consequently, any proposed change to the parenting plan must follow the legal procedures outlined in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-3(b).
To even begin the process, a parent must provide written notification to the other a minimum of 30 days before filing a motion in court according to O.C.G.A. §19-9-3(f)(3). At a subsequent court hearing, the judge may consider what is in the best interest for the child.
A parent requesting the relocation must have a good reason for moving. Simply stating that they wish to relocate to another state for a fresh start is insufficient. Common valid reasons to request a relocation include:
A Forsyth County attorney could help a parent explain the necessity of their relocation to the court. Alternatively, a skillful lawyer could rebut another parent’s assertions that a relocation is in the best interests of a child.
A request for relocation will typically proceed in one of two ways. In either case, the non-moving parent always has the right to have their opinions and concerns heard.
Relocation requests typically lead to a formal hearing in family court, since most parents have at least partial physical or legal custody of their children and therefore have a say in how their child lives and is brought up. If a parent contests a move on grounds that it may decrease their time with their child or jeopardize their influence on the child’s future, a judge would need to decide whether the move has merit and if it is in the best interests of the child.
Conversely, other relocation requests end with an agreement between the parents that a court would most likely accept into any modified custody arrangement. A Forsyth County lawyer could help parents to argue for or against any relocation arrangement.
The prospect of parents moving out of state for a new job or to be closer to their family may greatly benefit their child. However, since all parents have rights unless a previous court hearing has dissolved them, no parent may relocate with a child if the other parent objects. This might result in contentious court cases where a judge must decide what is best for the child.
A Forsyth County relocation lawyer could advocate your parental rights by showing the court how the move would benefit your child, or by helping to draft relocation agreements if both parents agree on the relocation. Call today to learn more.