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Consult with a NC Child Custody Attorney Before Relocating


Are you planning to relocate this summer? Maybe you finally got that dream job that you have wanted for so long or you are following your dream of completing a college degree. Maybe you need to relocate to be closer to aging parents or other family members in need. Whatever the reason may be for relocating, if your child’s other parent is not moving with you, you need to consult an NC child custody attorney as soon as possible.

The child custody attorney of Welch & Avery can help you determine the steps you must take to legally relocate with your child. Several factors must be taken into consideration before determining the legal steps that must be taken to prevent problems with your child’s other parent. Call Welch & Avery at (910) 665-9134 to schedule a consultation with a Jacksonville child custody attorney.

Can My Ex-Spouse Stop Me From Moving With My Child?

Your ex-spouse cannot stop you from moving; however, he or she may be able to delay or seriously hamper the move when a child is involved. If your ex-spouse does consent to changes in the custodial and visitation order, the court must approve the changes to ensure the changes are in the best interest of the child.

Most parents demand clauses in their custody agreements preventing one parent from relocating with the child without the other parent’s consent. In some cases, the custody order may include a specific distance a parent can relocate without consent as long as the other parent is provided ample notice of the move. For example, your custody order may provide that you can relocate with your child to attend school, care for a family member, or for employment purposes if you do not move more than 60 miles from your ex’s residence provided you give 90 days’ notice to your ex.

Therefore, the first step when contemplating relocating with your child is reviewing your custody order and your timesharing/visitation order. To decrease the chance that you do something in violation of your court order or the law, it is best to review your custody and visitation orders with an experienced child custody attorney.

Petitioning the Court for Approval to Relocate With Your Child

The simplest way to relocate with your child is to do so with the consent and cooperation of your child’s other parent. This allows you and your ex to work together to make the move as smooth and stress-free for your child as possible. It also allows the two of you to devise a co-parenting plan and visitation schedule that works best for your family. When a judge must make those decisions for you, it can be difficult on everyone involved including your child. A judge does not know your child like you do; therefore, your first step should be attempting to negotiate an agreement with your ex.

A child custody attorney helps facilitate discussions and work through issues to arrive at an amicable agreement. If you cannot work out an agreement, your child custody attorney walks you through the process of filing a petition for modification of custody order with the court.

Before our attorneys take this route, we discuss with our clients the likelihood that the court will approve a modification of custody to allow for a relocation. We base this analysis on previous child relocation cases we have handled and the factors used by the court when deciding child relocation custody cases.

Factors Used by a Judge When Deciding a Child Relocation Custody Case

Some of the factors the judge considers when deciding whether to approve a petition to modify custody for relocation purposes include:

  • The reason why you are requesting to relocate;

  • The distance from the child’s other parent;

  • The hardship the move will create on maintaining a close bond between the child and the non-custodial parent;

  • How long the child has lived in his present location and the family ties he has nearby;

  • Whether the child is in school and how he is doing in school;

  • Whether the parents can afford transportation costs to maintain visitation;

  • The quality of life now and the anticipated qualify of life after the move;

  • The resources (i.e. educational, medical, extra-curricular, social, et.) available now and anticipated after the move; and,

  • The relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent.

The judge may also consider any other factor he or she deems necessary to determine what is in the child’s best interest.

Contact an Experienced Jacksonville Child Custody Attorney

“Attorneys Who Aggressively Protect Your Rights”

The Trevor J. Avery Law Firm represents clients throughout Duplin County, Onslow County, and the surrounding communities. Call our office at (910) 405-8459 or contact us online today for a case evaluation.