Moving Children Out Of State: How A Judge Makes A Determination

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One aspect of a custody arrangement is what happens if one of you wants to move out of state with the children. Before any type of move can take place, a court order will need to be obtained. The need for the move will also have to be in the best interest of the child. If the move is temporary, reasonable security will need to be provided by the parent taking custody to ensure the child will return. The following is information both parents will need to know if one of you wants to move your child out of your state:

How The Courts Handle Petitions For Removal

In general, judges will make a decision on where a child resides based on his or her best interests. There is no cookie cutter formula that can determine this. The determination will mostly rely on the circumstances of each case along with any evidence provided. However, there are some factors that the judge will use when making his or her determination of moving a child out of state.

One factor is whether or not moving will change the quality of life for the parent and the child for the better. The motives of the parent are also considered. The judge will also look at your current visitation schedule and look for any patterns that may affect the decision. He or she will also decide whether or not the move will be ideal for visitation for the other parent to foster a healthy relationship. Whether or not moving will affect the child's day-to-day routine will also be closely evaluated.

The relationship of the two parents will also be factored into the judge's decision. If you have not had an amicable relationship prior to the move of the child, the judge will have to look particularly hard at the reasoning for the move and whether or not it has any semblance of malice against the other parent.

Some, most, or few of these factors will have weight on the decision of the judge, depending on your case. He or she may put emphasis on one factor over another.

If you are thinking about moving out of state with your child, you will need to consult with your family law attorney. It is crucial that you know both parents' rights to custody of the child. Do not move from the state without going through the legal process. Otherwise, you could face criminal charges.