Custody & Parenting
Our family law attorneys are experienced in representing parents who are seeking permission to relocate or defend against an attempt to relocate by the other parent; often through a court proceeding or out-of-court negotiations.
The most important consideration outside of the legal parameters, is the wellbeing of the child(ren) and their ability to maintain a relationship with each parent, as dictated by the custody order.
Beyond this primary concern, there are multiple factors that courts consider in relocation proceedings which need to be in the best interest of the child(ren):
- The nature, quality, extent of involvement, and duration of the child’s relationship with the person proposing to relocate and with the non-relocating person, siblings, and other significant persons in the child’s life;
- Who has been the child’s primary caregiver;
- The age, developmental stage, needs of the child, and the likely impact the relocation will have on the child’s physical, educational, and emotional development, taking into consideration special needs of the child;
- The feasibility of preserving the relationship between the non-relocating person and the child through suitable parenting time arrangements, considering the logistics and financial circumstances of the parties;
- The child’s preference, taking into consideration the age and maturity of the child;
- Whether there is an established pattern of conduct of the person seeking the relocation either to promote or thwart the relationship of the child and the non-relocating person;
- Whether the relocation of the child will enhance the general quality of the life for both the custodial parent seeking the relocation and the child including, but not limited to, financial or emotional benefit or educational opportunity;
- The reasons of each person for seeking or opposing the relocation; and
- The effect on the safety and welfare of the child, or of the parent requesting to move the child’s residence, of domestic abuse, as defined in section 518B.01.
The burden of proof falls on the parent requesting relocation unless they are the victim of domestic abuse by the other parent.
The court will also consider the reasons a parent wants to move such as employment or family connections.