The divorce process can be very painful for both parties, but it can become even more delicate and sensitive when children are involved. It isn't uncommon after a divorce for one parent to consider moving back to the area in which they grew up or where they have family. If one of the parents is then considering relocation after the divorce, it can also impact custody and visitation agreements. There are some things that should be kept in mind if considering relocating with a child after a divorce.
There is a chance that a custody case that involves a relocation will need to be resolved in family court. This is especially true in cases where the non-custodial parent is fighting the move. There is no set formula for figuring out how much a child might be affected by a relocation, and the legislation for this varies from state to state. In family court, the child comes first, and their well-being is a priority over the needs of the parents.
If the non-custodial parent decides to fight the relocation, the custodial parent must be ready to prove that the relocation will only minimally affect the child. The court will have to determine if the move will positively affect the child's life, financially and emotionally.
Since the laws regarding child custody and visitation vary from state to state, a family law attorney may be able to provide guidance for parents considering relocation after a divorce. Per court allowance, a lawyer might conduct an investigation in order to present a child custody evaluation, which only comprises one part of the court's decision-making process.
Source: The Huffington Post, "6 Things to Expect and Consider When Relocating with Children After Divorce", Andrea Moore, December 18, 2013