Custody and Relocation Issues



Judges typically find custody and relocation cases difficult to decide, and the cases are governed by what is..."in the best interest of" the child. Which means, if a parent simply wants to move because it's better for his/her life, that doesn't mean it's better for the child. The child's best interests also includes a relationship with the non-custodial parent, which is usually the father.

There are risks for the child if a custodial parent makes a long-distance relocation.

Two Main Reasons for Custody and Relocation

The first reason for custody and relocation issues is domestic violence. About half of the cases are moms who move away from a father who is abusive. They wish to avoid farther violence to themselves and their children, and many times, are willing to risk leaving child support behind if they were receiving it, in the hope of being left alone.

The second type probably goes to court more often, but is quite difficult to decide on. In this type of custody and relocation case, Mom or Dad wishes to relocate for a job or for personal reasons, not due to any domestic violence problem with the other parent.

Risks of Relocating for all Parties in the Family

Leaving a community to join another brings several risks:

  • First, it may be difficult to find work, education, and housing at the same standard.

  • Second, there is much more responsibility placed on the custodial parent once the move is completed. There may not be much of a safety net to rely on for the mom that moves away if she is isolated from family, friends, and community. That child will also feel that isolation.

  • Third, the non-custodial parent, who is usually the father, will have a strained relationship with the child now. It will be much more difficult to connect with a child that has been removed from his or her original community.

  • This third relocation issues comes with many repercussions for both child and father, as they age. To begin with, the child and father both lose their "time" together as soon as the move occurs. Later, as they are both getting older, the father will also miss out on time that his child may have spent helping him with things like elder care.


Do you have Custody and Relocation Issues?

First, I would speak to a custody attorney in your state by using the Avvo Box below, and getting matched with a Legal Match representative (both are free and help a lot of folks--you'll be matched with attorneys in your area). It is always best for you to educate yourself about your options before you make a decision.




For some whose relocation is more about abuse than preference, it is especially important to find out your rights. No one has the right to ever physically, mentally, or spiritually harm, hurt, or violate you or your children. Please read more information about domestic violence and child abuse.

If you are in the situation where you must move for work or a a personal preference, you have an uphill battle in many cases. Custody can be difficult to continue, as is, and many judges have clear biases against the custodial parent moving away, for the reason--in the best interest of the child, who should be able to see both parents regularly.

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Other Real-Divorce Articles you may find helpful:

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Child Support
Abuse Articles

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