'Local' Relocation Can Impact the Lives of Your Child & Your Parenting Rights

May 03, 2017

Moving from one part of the city or town to the next CAN have an impact on your child & your custody rights.

Local relocation is when one parent is moving from one part of a city or town to another where the distance is for example 45 minutes or an hour away from the other parent.

'Relocation' normally will be used when you are talking about one parent moving either to another city or another state, or . These local relocation cases can really have an impact on a parent's time that they are able to exercise and also on the children.

This is a case I am working with now. A few years ago two parties went through a custody proceeding and at the time they were living pretty close to each other, about 10 to 15 mins away from each other. That is a nice distance when parents are sharing children in common. Fast forward a few years later and the mother decided that she wanted to move, so she moved about 45 minutes away from where the father lived.

These parents had been sharing equal parenting time where one parent who get the child one week and then the other parent the next week. So what this meant was that the child had to enroll in a new school, one that was close to her mother's new home. The result is that when the child is now with the father, the children are spending a ton of time in the car on the way to and from school and cutting down the quality time that they now share with Dad.

In my mind, it is not fair for the mother to move the child without notice to the father in this case. But more importantly, that's not fair to the kids. It's not fun for an adult much less a child to spend hours sitting in rush hour traffic at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day. Plus, they have homework to do and baths to take, get ready for bed, etc.

It remains to be seen what will happen in that case, but I had a similar case where the father moved significant distance away and the parents had been sharing equal decision making and parenting time, and the judge said, 'You know what? You moved away so you're not getting equal time anymore. So the father could then only get the kids on the weekend, because the judge would not have the child's day to day lives disrupted. What the judge did was what was in the best interest of the child.

So, before you decide to relocate 'locally' think about how the move might affect the lives of your children and how it could, in the long run, negatively affect your parenting time and decision making rights depending on your judge.


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