What Is Child Relocation?

August 13, 2016

Child Relocation Attorney in Dublin

In the context of divorce, child custody, and child visitation/parenting time, “child relocation” means that the custodial parent is moving from his or her current home with the kid. The term matters because Ohio law requires a custodial parent to notify the family court that granted custody in a timely manner of his or her intent to relocate. The court requests the information so it can formally notify the parent who has visitation rights of the potential relocation. This process exists because the state understands, first, that a child usually benefits from having both parents involved in his or her life and, second, that a move can interrupt parenting time. 

After receiving a child relocation notification, the noncustodial parent can challenge the custodial parent’s right to move on the grounds that relocating would not benefit the child. A judge can also raise questions regarding how a move will affect the child’s welfare and the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights. Either scenario will lead the judge to schedule a relocation hearing. Each parent participating in such a hearing has the right to be represented by their own child relocation attorney. 

The hearing will focus on whether the move serves the child’s best interest. Each parent is responsible for making his or her case for whether relocating will help or harm the child. Specific issues the hearing judge will want addressed include 

  • Why does the custodial parent intend to move?
  • When and where does the custodial intend to move?
  • Do schools in the new location match or outperform the one the child currently attends?
  • Do psychological or financial difficulties experienced by the custodial parent negatively affect the child?
  • Does the noncustodial parent have a strong and loving relationship with the child?
  • Will distance created by the move make it difficult for the noncustodial parent to keep the existing parenting time schedule?
  • Will the child’s extended family be able to visit easily?
  • Will the move increase or decrease the amount of child support that must be paid to ensure the child enjoys adequate housing, a healthy diet, and sufficient health care? 

If the judge rules that the custodial parent should not move but the parent relocates anyway, the judge can reassign custody. The judge can also have the non compliant parent arrested, jailed, and fined for contempt. 

Conversely, approving a child relocation can lead a judge to create a new parenting time schedule and/or redo the child support arrangement. Both parents will have input on the new visitation and support plans, but the judge will have the ultimate authority to approve final and enforceable agreements. 

You can speak with a Dublin, Ohio, child relocation attorney by contacting Edward F. Whipps & Associates. As a full-service family law practice, we handle all types of cases involving divorce, adoption, child and spousal support, and child visitation/parenting time. We also offer second opinions on court rulings and on recommendations from other legal practitioners. To schedule a consultation, call (614) 461-6006 or fill out this webform.






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