Most divorcing parents want to separate from each other without sacrificing their individual relationships with their children. Child custody attorneys often work with parents to create a custody schedule that keeps the children happy, safe and well-adjusted, while accommodating each parent’s schedule as much as possible. Sometimes this means weekends and holidays for one parent, and weekdays for the other, and sometimes this can mean monthly or weekly swaps. But when one parent needs to relocate for a new job, a new relationship or other reasons, a new custody agreement will be needed to keep the moving parent in his or her children’s lives.
There are not a lot of easy ways to negotiate relocation when determining custody and usually, the parents will have to reach a compromise on their own, in addition to the court’s rulings. The court system can take several months to finalize a solution, so it is important to act fast when you know that you or your ex-partner will be moving. The goal is to have a new custody agreement in place by the time of the move so that the kids are not too disrupted and the moving parent does not have to travel back and forth constantly to attend court hearings.
Moving out of state may be in violation of a current custody order and any negative consequences need to be addressed immediately. You do not want the courts thinking that you are trying to evade North Carolina’s jurisdiction by moving, and custody will need to be established in the Raleigh courts to accommodate both parties.
Ramirez-Barker v. Barker
In Ramirez-Barker v. Barker, a 1992 case involving the out-of-state move of one parent, the North Carolina courts outlined the criteria to be used when considering custody agreements for relocating parents. These criteria will be used to evaluate how a new agreement should be set up for the benefit of the children:
- Advantages of relocation, in terms of the move’s capacity to improve the lives of the children
- Motives of the custodial parent for moving:
- Will the custodial parent comply with visitation orders after he or she moves away from North Carolina and is no longer in the state’s jurisdiction?
- Integrity of the noncustodial parent in resisting relocation:
- Will the parents be able to set up an amicable, realistic visitation schedule to foster relationships with both custodial and noncustodial parents and children?
One parent cannot stop the other from moving, but certain safeguards can be in place to give ample warning when one ex is considering a move, child custody attorneys in Raleigh say. When your existing custody agreement is set up, you can ask for certain provisions that will require either party to give advance notice of a move (either 30 or 60 days). Additionally, any changes to a custodial schedule during relocation must be agreed upon by both parties and must be in compliance with court laws.
At Cheshire, Parker, Schneider, and Bryan, our Raleigh lawyers represent parents who want to maintain an amiable custody schedule while keeping their relationship with the children intact. To discuss your case, and any possible relocations, contact us today.