Willian H. Sams
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Can I relocate with my child?

Single parents who wish to relocate with their children may run into serious roadblocks when the other parent disagrees. If the other parent has shared legal custody and visitation rights, for example, it could be impossible to get the relocation approval you desire. Nevertheless, parents might still be able to fight for their wishes in court if the right factual circumstances are present.

Imagine you have a child custody agreement -- or child custody decree -- and it clearly states that the noncustodial parent has the right to disapprove any move that takes the child out of state or further than 100 miles away. The court will probably honor the noncustodial parent's wishes, but not if the move is clearly in the best interest of the child.

To meet the best interest standard, the custodial parent needs to prove that moving away with the child will benefit his or her best interests to such a degree that it outweighs the potentially harmful effects of living far away from the noncustodial parent. Perhaps the custodial parent can prove that the noncustodial parent hasn't shown an interest in the child and is late on child support payments. Or, the parent can show evidence that the noncustodial parent is abusive or suffering from a substance addiction.

Another avenue that parents could use to prove best interests is to show a job offer that is such a tremendous opportunity that it will take the family out of poverty. Or, maybe supportive relatives will be available to care for the child and help him or her grow up in a better, more loving environment.

By clearly meeting the best interest standard for move-away cases, custodial parents might be able to increase the chances of being able to move away with their children.

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