Divorced and separated parents often disagree with one another about many aspects of their children’s lives. A custody order is often necessary to clarify how much time each adult can spend with the children, what authority they have over the children and each parent’s responsibilities.
Once someone is subject to a Connecticut custody order, they might take for granted the idea that their relationship with their children has protection. Unfortunately, family circumstances almost invariably continue to change after a divorce. One parent may choose to pursue major lifestyle changes following a divorce. Those changes might include looking for new work, moving closer to their family or starting a new romantic relationship. Can someone who is subject to a Connecticut custody order move with their children out of the state?
Relocations generally require permission
In theory, parents have the option of moving or relocating with their children following a divorce or separation. However, there are limits on parental relocations if the move may have implications for shared custody arrangements. If the move is out of state or far enough away to affect the relationship that the other parent has with the children, the adult proposing the move may need to obtain consent from the other parent before they commit to moving.
If both parents agree that the move is either necessary or potentially beneficial for the children in the family, then the relocation can take place with minimal conflict. However, the parent not moving might worry that the change in family circumstances could harm their relationship with the children. They can contest the move, a choice that will likely require that the parents go back to Connecticut family court.
A judge hearing a contested relocation request has many ways to resolve the matter. They could grant the parent permission to move and modify the custody order so that the other parent has adequate parenting time during summer vacation and other school breaks. They might approve the parental relocation without the children and modify the custody order accordingly. The age of the children, the relationships that they have with both parents and the rationale for proposing the relocation can all influence how a judge rules when parents who share custody disagree about a proposed move.
Learning about how Connecticut law limits certain parental choices may help people plan for the future and protect their relationships with their children at the same time.