How Are Custody / Visitation Rights Affected if the Custodial Parent Moves a Child Out of State?

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‘What are the procedures to modify custody / visitation if a custodial parent decides to move to another state (the side effect of such a move makes visitation harder or financially impossible)? How about international moves (not just a visit but permanent change in residence)?

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What is the likelihood they may lose physical custody all together or be denied due to lack of funds to pay for visitation?

Is the assumption that the move will be denied or that they will lose the child all together founded or unfounded?’

This is a very tough question, and the answer is even tougher. In most states, a moveaway will be readily granted to the custodial parent so long as there is even a shred of evidence that the move is for a better job, or a better situation, and not being done simply to frustrate the non-custodial parent’s relationship with the child.

It does vary from state to state, but generally a move for a “good reason” will be allowed. (In California, under the case law laid down in the case of “Marriage of Burgess”, a custodial parent could move away for any reason – or indeed for no reason at all.)

Many states will impose a requirement that the moving parent pay for, or at least share in the cost of, transportation required to allow the non-custodial parent to spend time with the child or children. If this is the situation you are facing, you should be sure that your attorney brings this to the court’s attention.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.