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As a custodial parent, can you move with your child?

Many child custody cases can prove contentious. Even after you and your ex-spouse have come to agreements, other issues could arise that lead to challenges concerning those agreements. When such situations do come about, you and your ex may find yourselves looking at court proceedings in order to determine the best course of action.

One issue that can have a substantial effect on custody terms is when a custodial parent wants to move. Many factors go into determining whether relocating with a child fits the best interests of the child. Of course, both parents undoubtedly want to have their say in the matter, and if an agreement providing express consent for a move has not been provided, the parent wishing to relocate may have several steps to consider.

Giving notice

If you want to move with your child, you must give the other parent notice ahead of time. After receiving the notice, the other parent has a certain amount of time in which he or she could object to the move. An objection often results in court proceedings in order to have the relocation addressed.

Burden of proof

In some cases, you may have to provide the court with reason for the move. Because possible disruptions to the child's life could occur due to leaving an area, the court will likely take those potential disruptions into account when determining whether to allow the move. If the situation could cause the child's schooling, social structures or emotional stability to face negative impacts, the court may not consider it beneficial to take the child elsewhere.

However, showing beneficial reasons for the move could impact your case. If you can provide evidence that the relocation could result in better cost of living, having more family nearby for the benefit of the child or your ability to continue your education, the court may look more favorably on your request.

Child custody modifications

If the proposed moving distance spans a considerable distance, custody modifications may prove necessary. As a result, you may need to provide a schedule of times and places that could work for the other parent to visit the child. Additionally, any modifications will likely need court examination if one parent contested the move.

Though you likely do not want to disrupt the relationship between your child and his or her other parent, sometimes you may not be able to avoid life changes. The need to change locations presents itself to many people throughout life, and if you feel the need to move, dealing with the custody ramifications may prove difficult. However, consulting with an experienced Louisiana attorney could help you determine how to present your case in hopes of achieving your desired outcomes.

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