It is an unfortunate, yet common part of divorce; one parent may choose to move away with the children. Sometimes a change is necessary because a parent recently receives a new job or promotion that takes them to a new city or state. In some instances, a parent may move to be closer to a family based support system. In others, a parent has fallen in love again and wants to further a new romantic relationship.
Regardless of the reasons, Maryland law requires a custodial parent to seek the court’s permission before moving to another jurisdiction. After all, family court judges have a vested interest in preserving relationships between children and non-custodial parents.
As such, courts will consider several factors in deciding whether to sanction a parent’s move, including:
– How far away the moving parent will be going (i.e. within the same county, region or state)
– Whether the move will significantly affect the non-custodial parent’s time with the child
– Whether the move will enhance the child’s quality of life (i.e. moving closer to school and/or extended family)
– The custodial parent’s reasons for moving, as well as the non-custodial parent’s reasons for opposing such a move
– The children’s preferences, if they are old enough to register a reasonable opinion
Parents seeking to relocate or are defending against a relocation request should realize that every case is different. As such, it is difficult to predict the success of one case based on another. If you have questions about moving to another city or state with a child, consult an experienced family law attorney.