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Key custody considerations before relocation

Determining child custody is an important part of any divorce proceedings that include a child. That is why the courts do not make this decision quickly or lightly.

When parents decide to relocate and desire to make a change in the custody agreement, they must go through the proper process. There are a few key considerations to make about custody before relocation.


Proper communication is essential to any co-parenting agreement, and may be helpful for negotiating relocation. Especially in the case where a custodial parent desires to move and take the child, depending upon the current visitation arrangement, the noncustodial parent may be willing to agree. However, both parties must be open to hearing and considering the concerns of the other party, then developing a plan that works for both. In such instances, speaking to a mediator may be beneficial.


If parents are not able to come to an agreement amongst themselves, it will be necessary to seek a determination from the courts. The parent seeking to adjust the custody order must complete and file the request for order form. The courts will then schedule a hearing, and during the hearing, both parties will have an opportunity to make their arguments. The judge will then make a decision. The judge will operate in the best interest of the child. Therefore, it is critical for parents to be able to show that either staying or leaving will provide the child with the stability and support needed for proper growth and development.

If possible, coming to a conclusion out of court is usually the best scenario. This not only saves time and money for both parents, but it also provides a less stressful situation for all parties involved, including the child. A parent who needs to relocate may want to consider speaking with an attorney who provides mediation to discuss options and make the best choice.

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