Securing a joint custody arrangement after divorce can be the best solution for kids and parents alike. However, what happens when life pulls you in a different direction and you feel it’s time to move elsewhere?
Whether your job, your family or simply a desire for a fresh start leads you to consider moving, keep in mind that Kentucky laws require certain conditions to be met to make sure you stay within the terms of your joint custody agreement.
Relocating with joint custody
If you choose to relocate out of state or more than 100 miles from your current residence, then you must first file a written notice at least 60 days in advance with both your ex and the court. You will have to include several important details in your notice, including:
- Your proposed new address
- The expected date of your move
- How your relocation will affect your court-ordered custody agreement
If you share custody and your move will directly affect your ability to maintain the current timesharing terms of your agreement, then you and your former spouse will need to come to a new custody agreement and file a motion with the court.
This is where things can get tricky. If you and your former spouse can agree on updated terms to your joint custody, then you may officially move after filing your new agreement with the court.
If, however, you do not come to an agreement and you still wish to move, then the court will have to decide updated custody terms based on the perceived best interests of your children.
How does a court determine best interests?
The court will consider many factors when deciding the custody of your children, such as:
- The impact made on your child’s home, school and community
- Your child’s relationships with family and community members
- The mental and physical health of you, your ex and your child
- Your child’s wishes
While you may believe you have the best interests of your children at heart, the court may feel otherwise. It’s always better to come to an agreement with your former spouse before relocating. If the court is forced to decide, then you risk unfavorable changes to your custody terms or even losing residential custody completely. Your children are ultimately what’s most important, so make sure that’s reflected in your decision to move.