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Relocation: The Basics for Custodial and Non-Custodial Parents

Relocation: The Basics for Custodial and Non-Custodial Parents

The Ohio family court allocates parents’ rights and responsibilities upon divorce according to the best interests of the children involved. In many cases, parents are granted shared custody of their minor children. Where a custodial parent wishes to relocate, a formal process must be followed to protect both the children’s interests and those of the noncustodial parent. An experienced child custody lawyer is best placed to advise you about this process.

Filing a Notice of Intent to Relocate

When the custodial parent intends to move out of state or to a different county, they must file a notice of intent with the court that issued the original custody order. The court notifies the noncustodial parent of the move unless it is not in the child’s best interests to do so, such as in cases involving a violent or abusive parent.

Requesting a Hearing

If the noncustodial parent objects to relocation, they can file a motion and request a hearing to block the move. In reaching its decision, the court considers various factors, including:

  • The catalyst for the move ― a job transfer or new work opportunity is regarded as a more legitimate reason to move than a desire for a change of scenery
  • Social factors ― the court considers the effect of the move on the child’s educational opportunities, their access to a family support structure, and community life
  • Distance ― the further away the destination, the less likely that relocation will be approved
  • Impact on non-custodial parent’s involvement ― the effect of the move on parenting time is a key consideration, including the noncustodial parent’s financial, physical and emotional ability to travel to spend time with their child

The court’s main concern is to maintain the relationship between the child and the noncustodial parent where this is appropriate, and it is free to allow or deny the relocation request. The court may opt to allow the move and modify the parenting arrangements accordingly, such as by granting the noncustodial parent more vacation time with their child. Relocation is less likely to be approved where there is proof that the relocating parent will not respect new parenting arrangements.

Whether you are a custodial parent seeking to move, or a non-custodial parent faced with your former spouse’s decision to relocate, contact compassionate and experienced Dayton child custody attorneys at Fox and Associates Co., LPA for assistance in resolving your custody issues.

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