Moving out of state by a parent can have a significant impact on child custody orders. Such a move can be the deciding factor in an initial custody decision. It could also trigger a change of custody in existing court orders. Finally, moving out of state could result in moving the entire child custody case to a court in another state.
Moving and Initial Child Custody Orders
Initial custody orders generally come from the court where the kids are living. If a parent decides to move during the custody proceeding, there will usually be some preference for leaving the kids with the parent that is remaining.
This preference will be especially strong if the kids are in the locale where there are grandparents, uncles, cousins, and other family members.
The moving parent will often end up paying most, if not all, of the cost of visitation, even if they get custody of the children.
Moving and Existing Custody Orders
Whenever either parent moves out of state, a review of the existing custody arrangement may be triggered. This will usually come about if the move will result in a change in visitation opportunities for the non-custodial parent.
If the parents live near a state border, a short move across state lines is not likely to cause, or result in, significant changes.
Moving and Changes in Courts
If both parents move away from the state where the original custody order was made, either parent can “move” the case. The case will probably end up in the state where the children moved to.
Moving out of state can and does have significant impacts on child custody decisions, orders, and even on locations of the custody court. Therefore, parents should consider these issues before deciding to move.
By Steve Harton