Relocation cases are some of the most difficult cases that judges have to decide in a child custody case.
Judges have told me in these type of cases there is a clear winner and a clear loser. If the judge rules that the child can relocate with a parent then that parent 'wins' and the other parent loses and vice versa.
The burden of proof is on the person seeking to have the children relocate with them. That means that they have to prove to the judge that relocating the child is in the child's best interest. Depending on where you live there is a list of factors, on top of the normal 'Child's Best Interest Factors' that the judge needs to look at to decide whether relocation is in the child's best interest.
So where ever you live, you need to do relocation research and find out what the relocation laws are in your state. You need to know each and every factor the judge is going to look at because you have to adjust each and every one of them.
In your relocation hearing , If a parent wants to relocate then the judge is going to want to know whether there is still going to be the opportunity for the parent who's left behind to have a substantial and continuing relationship with the children, especially if the parent who is being left behind has had a lot of involvement and bonding relationship with the kids.
The fact is, if you are moving your child out of state, the child will be thousands if not more miles away then that relationship, once the child moves, will never be the same. That parent will no longer have the ongoing or weekly visitation that they had before. The parent for example won't be able to attend parent/teacher conferences, be involved in their child's extra-curricular activities. It is really going to affect the level of that parent's participation in their child's lives.
If you're the parent seeking to relocate with the children you are going to have to show the judge how that quality of relationship that the other parent shares with the children can continue. I will say that in a lot of my relocation cases where I am representing the parent that is wanting to move with the children, I encourage them to tell the other parent that they can have every single break, that they can have all or most of the summer...all the times that the children are not in school, they can have.
In a lot of cases, that does increase the chances for the parent that wants to relocate, however in some cases, it has not made a difference. The reason is because the parent who wants to move has not proven to the judge's satisfaction that moving is in the best interest of the child.
If you are the parent wanting to relocate it is not impossible. I've had a lot of judges grant the relocation in spit of the other parent's objections. You just have to really do your research in your state for the factors the judge is going to be looking at. Get your evidence ready and your ducks in a row and be ready to present it.
If you are the parent who is opposing the relocation of your child, same advice for you. Look at the relocation factors in your state or jurisdiction. You will need to spin those in a way that the judge will have no choice but to find that relocation is not in the best interest of the children.