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Does my child custody agreement mean I can’t move?

| Jan 22, 2021 | Child Custody

There are a lot of reasons why someone might need to relocate outside of Kentucky. Some people manage to secure better paying jobs elsewhere, while others might want to move closer to their families. This can be very straightforward for some people, but things are a little different for custodial parents. Not only will the child custody order probably need to be modified, but parents also need to demonstrate that relocating is in their children’s best interests.

An out-of-state move would likely make it difficult for a child to maintain the same level of contact with a noncustodial parent. Maintaining a close relationship with both parents is usually considered to be in a child’s best interests, and a judge might be hesitant to approve such a big move. The custodial parent will often need to provide a statement of good faith justifying the move. Examples of a good faith reason include:

  • Lower cost of living
  • New, better paying job
  • Live closer to family
  • Continue an education

Even if a custodial parent has a good reason for wanting to move, the noncustodial parent might still object. It will then be up to the judge to decide whether the move is appropriate. Judges often consider things like whether noncustodial parents exercised their visitation rights or how actively they were involved with their children when weighing these decisions.

Moving to a different state is not a decision that people make lightly. By the time a custodial parent asks for permission to move, he or she has probably considered many different factors — including the child custody agreement and child’s best interests. Demonstrating this before a Georgia judge might not be easy though, so it may be helpful to speak with an experienced attorney before starting this process.