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What happens to a custody order during relocation?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2021 | Child Custody

It can take a lot of time to arrange a custody agreement that works for everyone. You may even need to sacrifice convenience and personal preferences at times so you can comply with the order.

Life developments can impact the function of your plan. Remarriage or a new job, for example, may require you to relocate. Knowing what to do with your custody order in this situation may minimize uncertainty and help you identify your next steps so you can find an alternative arrangement.

Requesting a modification

In anticipation of your move, you will want to act promptly to request a modification of your order. According to the North Carolina Judicial Branch, you do not need to file a new child custody case. Rather, you will need to file a petition requesting to change your current agreement.

The courts will assess the reason for your move to determine if it provides a reasonable need to relocate. If your move means better opportunities and that your children are still living close enough to accommodate visitation, your intentions provide a legitimate reason to move. However, relocating to increase the distance between your ex out of spite, or doing so to try and limit child support are not fair or valid reasons to move. The courts will look closely at the best interests of your children prior to making any decisions.

Determining best interests

Just like at the beginning of your initial child custody case, your children’s best interests take priority over your needs. In relation to your move, court officials will assess parent-child relationships, the educational needs and involvement of your children, any physical or health-related needs, each child’s emotional and psychological health, and the ability of you and your ex to continue providing stable care despite the move.

Modifying your custody order in the wake of your move is something you will want to do plenty of time in advance. Knowing that you have legally adjusted your agreement to accommodate your move can give you peace of mind and give everyone a better idea of what to expect.