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Relocation Often Raises Child Custody Issues

After the economic crisis of the past few years, Michigan families have come to understand that sometimes you have to relocate. If there aren’t enough jobs where you live, you might have to move elsewhere to find work.

But what happens when there are child custody issues involved in a relocation?

Of course, it depends in large part on the circumstances. When divorced parents live close together and are on relatively peaceful terms, sharing child custody and parenting time can be pretty manageable.

If the ex-spouses are far apart, however, physically or emotionally, custody can become a sticky situation very quickly – especially if different states or even countries are involved.

For this reason, if you think it may be necessary to relocate, make sure to address that in working out the terms of your divorce decree. You should consider not only the possibility that you will need to move, but also the possibility that your ex-spouse might do so.

Even if neither you nor your former spouse anticipated moving prior to the divorce, it is entirely possible that one or both of you could want to do so after the settlement becomes final. The reason for relocating may be a job, but it could also be to be near other family members, such as your parents.

As legitimate as those reasons are to you, your relocation may be of concern to your ex-spouse, though. After all, a move can easily impact his or her parenting time.

If you are seeking to modify the terms of the original divorce decree, a court is likely to ask how a proposed move would serve the best interest of the child. Be prepared to articulate why a proposed move would or would not do that.

Source: “How Do I Relocate After Obtaining Custody of My Children?” Huffington Post, Eyal Talassazan, 7-2-12