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Can I just pick up and relocate with my child post-divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2020 | Child Custody

Divorce can be quite an emotional event to go through. Many people looking to cope with their newfound situation may think that a change of scenery will help them mend their hearts and regain a positive emotional state. If you have minor children that you retain primary custody of, then you may find it hard to achieve that change in your environment that you think would help you heal. Relocating with your child may be easier said than done once you’re divorced, though.

How prevalent are relocations post-divorce?

Data compiled by Mind Publications in 2004 captured how at least one-quarter of all parents who retained sole or primary custody of their kids post-divorce relocated. 

There are various reasons moms and dads may feel the need to leave an area in the aftermath of the dissolution of their marriage. Financial opportunities such as a reduced cost of living or a new job and a parent’s increased desire to be closer to family members may impact their decision to move away.

What impact does relocation have on children?

How a move may impact your children, if at all, is unclear. Your kids’ ages, closeness with friends or family, and involvement in the community may all play a role in how well your son or daughter can cope with a move. 

Most jurisdictions require custodial parents to first provide the noncustodial one with written notice of their intention to move a certain amount of days before their planned relocation date. The noncustodial parent then has a certain amount of days to object to this. Both parties also often have to attend a hearing in front of a judge to sign a relocation order before any move can happen. 

What you should do if you’re planning to relocate with your child after divorce?

One of the first steps you may want to take if you’re considering relocating a significant distance from Harrisonburg or to a completely different state other than Virginia is to maybe pass it by your ex to see how they feel about your potential move.

You may want to consult with a divorce/child custody attorney before doing this, however. Your lawyer will be able to give you advice on how to broach the conversation in hopes of reaching an amicable agreement with them about how to best share custody of your child when you relocate. 

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