Do You Need To Modify Your Custody Arrangements So You Can Move? 3 Questions You Should Be Prepared To Answer

Making a long-distance move is always stressful. However, it can become even more stressful when children are involved, especially if there's a custody order in place. If you're planning a long-distance move, and you have a custody arrangement with your child's parent, you'll need to take them into consideration before you finalize your plans. In fact, you'll need to get the approval of the family law judge before you'll be allowed to legally move with your child. Now that you need to modify your custody arrangement, you'll need to prepare for the court hearing. Here are three questions that the judge will want you to answer before they make their final determination regarding the move.

What Is Your Motivation for the Move?

When it comes to long-distance moves that involve minor children and custody arrangements, judges like to know what the motivation is behind the decision to move. When you appear before the judge, be prepared to answer that question. Judges tend to look more favorably on moves that are motivated by improved career opportunities or better educational opportunities. One reason that those moves are viewed more favorably is because they are often also in the best interest of the child. If your desire to move is based on career or educational needs, be sure to let the judge know that during the hearing.

What is the Distance Involved in the Move?

Distance is another issue that judges take into consideration when determining relocation requests. If you're in the process of moving, the judge will want to know how far you plan on moving with your child. If you're just going to be moving one or two states away, the judge make look more favorably at your request. However, you might have a more difficult time gaining the approval you need if you're planning on moving to the other side of the country. If you are planning a cross-country move, be prepared with a plan to accommodate co-parenting and visitation.

Will the Visitation Schedule Need to be Modified?

If you and your co-parent have a visitation schedule that is working well for your child, you'll need to take that into consideration when planning your relocation. The judge will want to know if your anticipated move will require the current visitation schedule to be modified. Depending on the age of your child, modification may not be feasible, especially if visitation will require air travel.

If you want to relocate with your child, but you need to get approval to modify your custody arrangement, you should sit down with a child custody attorney in your area from a place like the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. They can help you through the questions that the judge will have for you.