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How to get a custody modification for a job relocation

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2024 | Child Custody

Getting a new job can be a positive transition in life. However, if you share custody of a child, your new responsibilities could present a challenge if you have to move some distance away.

If you have an existing custody agreement, it will likely now be impractical. There are steps you can take to seek a modification to your child custody arrangement due to a job relocation.

Understanding child custody modifications

Child custody orders in North Carolina can receive a modification if there is a significant change in circumstances that affects the child’s well-being. A parent’s job relocation to a different area is a situation that qualifies.

However, you must demonstrate to the court that the relocation significantly impacts the child’s best interests. This could include factors such as:

  • The distance between the current residence and the new job location
  • How the relocation affects the child’s schooling, healthcare and daily routines
  • The impact on the child’s relationship with both parents
  • Any changes in visitation schedules or accessibility for the nonrelocating parent

You will have to file a motion with the court to get a binding modification.

Providing supporting evidence

The court will not just take your word regarding your new circumstances. You will have to provide supporting evidence that proves the need for modification.

For example, you will need documentation of the job relocation, such as a new employment contract or relocation offer. The court also likes to see information about the new location. Share details about the distance, living arrangements and community resources.

You can also share any communications with your co-parent about the situation. This is usually to show your efforts to agree upon a mutually beneficial arrangement that accommodates their needs and permits a healthy relationship with the child. If you can come to any agreements or have proposed changes, you protect yourself by making them official through the modification process.

Attending custody mediation and court if needed

In North Carolina, custody modifications typically involve mediation to encourage parents to reach an agreement outside of court. During mediation, you have a chance to discuss the proposed modification and its implications for the child. If you reach an agreement there, you will submit it to the court for approval.

If you cannot agree, the custody modification request will proceed to a hearing. There, you will present your arguments and evidence regarding the proposed modification. The court will then make a decision.

The modification process requires a substantial amount of work. However, it is worth it to safeguard your rights to time and a relationship with your child after a job relocation.