When parents sign a custody agreement or resolve their divorce, they are addressing their current circumstances. For whatever reason, these circumstances can change over time. In some cases, parents want to relocate with the children. These cases often end up in Maryland family law courts.
What are the best interests of the children?
In deciding custody cases, the judge is concerned about the best interests of the child and not those of the parents. However, there are circumstances in which something that benefits the parent is also better for the children. For example, the parent could be moving closer to their family support network. Alternatively, they may have found a better paying job further away that could help the children.
How courts look at relocations
The other parent will often contest the move. After all, no parent wants to see their child moved far away from them. If the parents are not able to resolve the issue on their own, the moving parent would go to court to request a modification to the custody agreement. The court’s presumption is that they want to encourage relationships with both parents. If both parents spend a lot of time with the children, the judge may be more hesitant to allow the move. The court will look at a number of factors in making the decision. If the child is old enough, they may even want to hear what the child thinks about the move.
If you are dealing with a potential relocation, it always helps to have a child custody lawyer give advice. They may help you negotiate a solution with the other parent. If there is no agreement to be reached, the attorney could argue your case in court as you seek to convince a judge that your position is in the best interests of the children.