Can I Move After My Divorce?
It’s common for people who just got out of a troubled relationship to decide to uproot their lives and find a new home, often far from where the relationship was based. There’s nothing wrong with making a new home and getting a new start, but you should first understand the legal ramifications of such a move.If there are no children involved
Thankfully, this scenario is fairly straightforward. You are legally permitted to move without restriction if there are no children or custody agreements involved in your case. Feel free to find a new home once the divorce is finalized.
If you’re still working through the divorce process, you may want to hold off on moving far away, though. If you move during the divorce process you will still need to report to the original location where the divorce was filed for any proceedings. The court case will not follow you to your new home, so it’s important to consider this before moving.If there are children involved
Your move becomes more complicated if you have children and custody agreements to consider. Once there are children involved, factors like who the custodial parent is and the distance of your move will determine how the court proceeds.
If you’re moving just a few blocks away or even to a nearby town that hardly impacts travel arrangements to and from visitations with your children, you can likely make this move without restrictions. The court will need your updated information, and they may factor in the quality of local schools, local crime statistics, and who you are going to live with to determine whether your custody agreement needs to be altered.
If you are moving across the state to a more unreachable location, you should check with the courts before committing to your move. In some situations, the court can order both parties to stay within the boundaries of certain public transportation in order to avoid alterations to a custody agreement. This is a possibility if one or both of the parties don’t have private means of transportation or the financial wellbeing to pay for other means of transportation. A move across the state could also make certain visitation agreements untenable and cost you visitation or even custody.
The same situation applies when you move out of state or across the country. The court will need to convene and determine what aspects of your custody agreement remain enforceable and which aspects need to be changed. It’s unlikely frequent visitations can continue if you’re more than a short car ride away. If you’re the custodial parent, you would need to prove to the court that a long-distance move is in the best interests of your child (including moving for a promotion that will allow you to provide more for your child, being closer to family members, etc.). It’s important to let the court know your move is about the child and not yourself, otherwise you risk losing custody. If you’re the noncustodial parent, such a move could be viewed as sacrificing your visitation rights in favor of your personal life. You should consider this before making such a move.Don’t make a move without the right attorney
We want you to have freedom and make the most of your life, both before and after your divorce. If you want to find a new place to call home, don’t commit to anything without consulting your attorney.
At FAB Law, we will help you navigate how a move could impact your custody agreement and prepare to defend you should you want to maintain partial custody or even take full custody if you believe it’s in the best interest of your children during the move. Contact us today for peace of mind in your legal defense.