What Process Follows a Contested Relocation Request?
You may or may not know the process of a parent relocation in instances where one parent is moving and wants to take the child with them. The parent that is moving is required to give notice within 60 days of the move. The notice is received by the other parent and the other parent then has the opportunity to contest or object the relocation. In cases where a parent objects to the relocation, the case then needs to be heard in court.
What Happens Next
When a relocation is requested, a parent is required to submit a new parenting plan if the current parenting plan is unable to be fulfilled. This means, that if a parent has regular weekend visits under the current plan and the relocation will cause those weekend visits to be impossible, the relocating parent must submit a new parenting plan. This new parenting plan should account for the relocation in the visiting terms.
However, even if a new parenting plan is submitted, the relocation can still have objections. After a parent is notified of a relocation proposal and they contest, the child cannot be legally moved until a hearing takes place. The hearing will usually be the time where the parent who objects can bring up their concerns and proof of negative consequences of the relocation for the child. Depending on the severity, the negative consequences may be enough for a judge to reject the relocation proposal.
In most cases where there is regular visitation between both parents, judges go into relocation situations with two assumptions: either option is not good for the child and the parent will move no matter what. The judge usually understands how difficult the move will be on the child. Either way, they are being taken from their home or their parent. In addition, the judge doesn’t typically rule that a parent cannot move, they’re simply called in to decide whether or not the child can move with the parent.
Always Consult a Family Law Attorney
If you’re considering moving and taking your child with you, consult a lawyer as soon as possible. The future for you and your child seems less chaotic when you know what to expect in this process. The attorney can provide consultation and clarification for you so this time doesn’t seem so stressful.