Child custody is one of the most complex and contentious aspects of many divorce cases. Although courts will typically order a parenting plan which grants parenting time to the non-custodial parent, circumstances can often change in the years following a divorce. In some cases, the custodial parent will wish to move with their child, often out of state.
HOW CAN I BLOCK A MOVE?
While there is no guaranteed way to block such a relocation, non-custodial parents do have legal recourse to contest the relocation. Before moving, the parent who wishes to move must file a “notice of intent to relocate” with the court that finalized the divorce or child custody order. As the non-custodial parent, you will then receive notice of this filing, at which point you can request a hearing to argue your case.
THE BURDEN IS ON THE MOVING PARENT
All matters of child custody in Ohio revolve around one guiding principle – the best interests of the child. For this reason, the parent who wishes to relocate must prove to the court that such a move would, in fact, be in the child’s best interests. The court will look at many factors when making this determination, including:
- The distance of the relocation
- The reason for the move
- Presence of extended family
- The non-custodial parent’s relationship with the child
- How well the parents cooperate/communicate
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE RELOCATION IS APPROVED?
If the court allows the move to happen, the resulting action is a modification of your parenting plan. With a few exceptions, you will still have parenting time with your child – the terms of these visits, however, may change. If your child moves out of state, for example, your parenting plan may be revised so that your child spends the summer with you, rather than weekends like before.
As a parent, you have a right to spend time with your child. If your child’s other parent is attempting to relocate, or has already relocated without notice, call our firm today. Our experienced Columbus family lawyers can build a strong case on your behalf, and can tirelessly defend your parental rights when you retain our firm.
Our firm is led by a Certified Specialist in Family Relations Law. Call (614) 732-5566 today to learn how we can help you.