Divorce and family law disputes can be enormously stressful. They can leave you worrying about your financial viability due to property division, alimony, and child support issues, but they can also threaten your relationship with your child. While this is certainly true during the initial child custody determination stages, this relationship can come under attack at just about any point in time. Therefore, when child custody and visitation issues do arise, you need to be prepared with strong arguments that support your position, as well as the best interests of your child.
This is often seen in the context of parental relocation. Here, the custodial parent seeks to move with the child, oftentimes a great distance away from the noncustodial parent. For custodial parents, this might provide them with a great job opportunity or the ability to build familial relationships while providing the child with educational opportunities. For a noncustodial parent, a move could mean less contact and a weakened bond with a child.
When a proposed relocation is challenged, the court will assess a number of factors to determine whether the move is in furtherance of the child’s best interests and therefore authorized. Amongst those factors are:
- The reasons for the move and the effect it will have on the child’s lifestyle and educational needs
- How the move will affect the child’s relationship with his or her noncustodial parent
- The custodial parent’s willingness to facilitate contact between the child and the noncustodial parent
- How the relocation will affect other familial relationships
- Any history of substance abuse or domestic violence by either parent
- Anything else that the court deems relevant
Of course, these matters can quickly get heated considering all of the emotions that are wrapped up in them. These emotions can cloud judgment and muddle arguments. This is why it is often best to address these matters with an attorney by your side. That way you can ensure that your position is zealously advocated for with a keen eye on what is best for your child.