Most courts in the United States determine custody based on the child’s well-being, or what is in his or her best interest. This means a judge has decided the custody arrangement is the most healthy, most ideal possible situation for that child. Because the court demands that the parent with primary physical custody must stay within a region specified by the court, if the custodial parent wishes to move away, he or she has to get permission.

If the custodial parent wants to move out of the designated area, he or she either needs to get the other parent to agree to the move in writing, or he or she needs to file a motion requesting permission from the court to move. Without doing either of these things, the custodial parent might face kidnapping charges and may lose custody of their child.

The process is simple enough if the other parent agrees to the move and both parents settle on some kind of visitation arrangement. However, if the other parent doesn’t agree to the move, the custodial parent must prove to the court the move is sensible and in good faith. For example, a parent who relocates “for fun” or to cause the other parent grief would not be granted permission to move. If the court agrees the move would be in the child’s best interest, it would likely give permission while doing something in return, such as reduce the amount of child support to offset the additional travel expenses that would be necessary for the visitation or custodial time of the other parent.

In order to seek permission, the custodial parent must petition the court to move with the child. Even if the move is still in the state, if the noncustodial parent is too far away to have a meaningful relationship with the child, the custodial parent would still need to petition the court to approve the move.

If you’re a custodial parent hoping to move or you share custody with a custodial parent and don’t want them to relocate, you should speak to an experienced St. Charles family law attorney. Choosing an advocate who can fairly and efficiently represent you in court can be just what you need to convince a judge of your assertion. Our attorneys at Smith Law Offices, LLC have more than 20 years of legal experience to offer your case. Our local and family-run firm can answer your calls or emails quickly. Let us see what we can do for you and your family.

Call us at (636) 400-1177 or fill out our online form to schedule a case evaluation today. We look forward to speaking with you.

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