Parents who share custody of their children must abide by the terms of their parenting plan and custody agreement. These contracts typically require each parent to stay within a certain geographic proximity to the other parent so that their children can spend time with each of them.
However, divorced parents are not always required to remain in the same place forever. In certain cases, both parties could agree to allow each other to relocate. In situations where one parent objects to the move, the court would have the ultimate authority to determine whether the children are permitted to relocate with that parent.
If you are looking to change where you live or adjust your parenting plan, consulting a Marietta relocation lawyer could be beneficial. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to help you learn more about the process while also advocating for your rights.
While a divorced person can move wherever they want, they may not be allowed to take their children with them. Whether the children are allowed to move with their custodial parent will depend on if both parents can agree on the move.
As dictated by Official Code of Georgia Annotated 19-9-3(f)(3), a custodial parent who wishes to move to a new city or state must notify the other parent a minimum of 30 days before doing so. They must provide the other parent with their new address and cannot hide where they are moving.
While this requirement is designed to give the non-custodial parent time to object to the move, they are also free to allow the other parent to relocate. In the latter scenario, both parents would have to agree on a parenting plan that takes the longer distance into account and allows each parent sufficient time with their children.
Parenting plans in these situations often give the non-custodial parent longer continuous parenting time with their children on a less frequent basis. For example, the children may see the non-custodial parent for the majority of the summer vacation and other holiday breaks rather than during the weekdays. If both sides cannot come to a mutual understanding, the decision would be left to a judge’s discretion.
If a non-custodial parent objects to a custodial parent’s relocation, they could petition the court to modify the custody arrangement and grant them primary physical custody. This would allow one parent to move while the other remains in the same area with their children.
Conversely, the court may grant the custodial parent’s petition to relocate even if the non-custodial parent may receive less time with their children. If the relocation is in the children’s best interest, the primary custodial parent has the right to relocate them after receiving a court’s approval.
When deciding if a custodial parent should be allowed to relocate with their children, a judge would review the parents’ history and relationship with each other, as well as each party’s relationship with their children. If the parents do not get along and the relocation is based out of spite or ill-feelings, the judge may deny the request.
The main factor the court considers is how the move would affect the children. If the children have strong ties to an area, it may not be in their best interests to move. To name a few examples, children who have grandparents or other relatives nearby, have close friendships in the community, and are highly involved in extracurricular activities in a certain area may be negatively affected by moving to a new location.
The court would also examine how the non-custodial parent’s relationship with their children would be impacted. If the custodial parent wants to relocate to a place that is relatively close by, the move may not have as much of an effect on how often the non-custodial parent sees their kids. If the custodial parent is seeking to move across the country, on the other hand, the move might have a significantly negative impact on the relationship between the children and the non-custodial parent.
If you are are looking to relocate with your children, it may be important to speak with legal counsel well before you sign a lease or buy a home. The legal process for relocating with children can be complicated and contentious.
While the process may take more time than you expect, a Marietta relocation lawyer could help. Find out how you could get the guidance you need by calling a skilled family attorney today.