Parents are always free to move wherever they want to in the world, but problems can start when they want to bring their children along. It doesn’t make a difference if you are the residential custodial parent, if you have sole custody, or if there aren’t any custody agreements on file with the court. Should you and your child leave the state without checking with licenced Utah family attorneys first, you could be forced to appear at a family court hearing in the immediate future. In the state of Utah, you can’t relocate your child any more than 150 miles from your last place of residence without court permission or an agreement with the other parent. Hold off on accepting a new job or packing up your things before you permanently take your child out of state.
How to Prove That Your Proposed Move Is in the Best Interest of Your Child
Parents who want to move with their children, even to a neighbouring state, need to show that they’re thinking about their children’s interests. The first factor that the court will go over is how you propose to preserve your child’s relationship with their other parent. A move of 150 miles or more usually requires an altered visitation schedule. Your attorney may propose giving the other parent more time with your child during school breaks or suggest virtual visits via phone and video chatting. Show the court that your child will maintain a good relationship with the parent who’s going to be left behind and you have a shot at getting your petition to relocate granted.
Tools You Can Use to Prepare for Your Child Custody Relocation Case
Family law attorneys often aid their clients during child custody relocation proceedings by comparing education systems, noting a projected increase in pay, and highlighting how the children involved will have a better quality of life. During your court proceedings, you should be careful not to disparage your current accommodation, as that could inadvertently point to inadequate parenting. Also, remember that the family court could transfer custody to the other parent during these types of proceedings, so you should explain that you would prefer to maintain the same custody arrangements if your petition is unsuccessful.
Countering Evidence Presented by the Parent Opposed to the Move
Child custody relocation can be highly emotional and contentious. In fact, the other parent may be quite upset at the perceived notion that you are attempting to interfere with their parenting. As such, a well prepared opposing party might request a child custody evaluation, ask for a drug screening, or point to older issues in order to get the court to re-evaluate custody. Countering any damaging evidence that could jeopardise your reputation is essential if you want to remain the primary custodial parent, as well as get permission to relocate. Being reasonable and agreeable is often the best way to counter an aggressive opposition to your request to move.
Even if you just want to move over the state line, you must petition the courts in Utah to grant your request. Be generous about making compromises that will keep your child’s needs front and centre. If you show a willingness to work with the other parent as it relates to visitation, you will have a better chance at getting permission to relocate.