You’re the kind of person who enjoys a change of scenery and moving to new locations from time to time, and you never thought you’d be trapped in one spot. However, you and your ex spouse had a baby, got a divorce and that changed everything.
Even though you’re the custodial parent and the primary caretaker of your child, the noncustodial parent won’t give you permission to move to a new state for an excellent job opportunity. What can you do?
Here are some strategies for moving away with your child when the other parent doesn’t agree:
Understand your child custody orders or child custody agreement: If the other parent refuses to provide permission, you’ll need to understand the terms of your child custody arrangements completely. Are you permitted to move anywhere within 100 miles? Do you have to stay within state lines? What are the limits of your constraints? Knowing these will help you understand where you stand.
Provide notice that you want to move away: You need to provide formal notice to request consent from the other parent that you wish to move away. This notice will usually need to be provided within a certain period of time (usually 30, 60 or 90 days) before your intended move. You should provide this notice in writing. You should also consider discussing the matter with the other parent beforehand to see if he or she is willing to provide the consent you desire.
When you formally provide notice, the other parent will need to file a motion to object to your move or provide consent.
Gather your “good faith burden of proof”: When the other parent disagrees, if you still want to move away, you’ll need to put together the reasons and arguments that support your move. Here are some potential good reasons a court will look for in order to grant the move: (1) Strong financial reasons like an offer for a new and lucrative job; (2) living closer to family members who can offer support and care to your child; (3) other reasons that point to why the move will increase the standard of living and support the best interests of your child.
Learn more about Washington child custody law now to determine whether you and your child can move away for a better life in a new part of the country.