Can I relocate with my child – 5 reasons a judge may allow you to

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2023 | Custody & Parental Access

What happens when you want to relocate after your divorce…. and of course, your plans are to take your child with you?

Post-divorce life and lifestyle don’t look or feel the same as they did when you were in the midst of your divorce. Post-divorce, it’s very common for parents to have legal agreements where they share both physical and legal custody of a child. 

Maybe you can’t afford to live where you lived during your marriage. What happens when you now need to live closer to family to help you with your children? If you want to move, and you are the “primary parent,” it might seem reasonable and natural for you to be able to move with your children – but will the court agree? 

Is the move in your child’s best interest?

Read on to learn five (5) things you may want to consider: 

The governing principle of any custody modification request is that the changes need to be in the child’s best interest – and the court is largely free to look at virtually any factor that it considers relevant to its decision. This means that you have to frame your argument for a modification in terms of how it benefits your child – not you.

In practical terms, here are some of the reasons that a court may consider:

  1. Job opportunities: If you have an opportunity for a better job in another city or state that will significantly improve your child’s standard of living and financial stability, that could be enough to sway the court.
  2. Educational options: Is your child a gifted student? Does your child have special educational needs? Either way, you may want to relocate to an area where there are academic options that are better suited to your child’s unique requirements. Better schools, specialized programs and extracurriculars that are tailored to your child’s talents are a worthy consideration.
  3. Medical care: Some children have intense medical needs, and the best care may not be local. If your child requires access to specialized facilities or experts, moving could be the best thing for their health.
  4. Physical or emotional safety: It’s a complicated world out there, and social media and bullying are problems. If your child has been targeted at school or online in a way that is negatively affecting their physical or mental health, moving away may be the best way to remove them from danger and give them a fresh start.
  5. Family support: Family bonds can be very powerful, and moving back to an area where your child will have the emotional and physical support of their grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins can be very beneficial to their development.

Asking for a modification of your parenting plan and custody agreement that will allow you to relocate with your child has to be done with care – and you cannot make a big move without the court’s consent. You don’t want to face this battle alone. Experienced legal guidance as you formulate your request is the best possible way of achieving a favorable outcome.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know needs help with post-divorce modifications to a parenting plan or custody agreement, reach out to schedule a consultation at 646-665-3903 or by contacting us online.

Let Me Be Your Brave

Mia Poppe, Esq.

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner