What if I want to move after my divorce?

| Jul 30, 2019 | Child Custody

A divorce, even if it is the best solution for your future, can be immensely disruptive. Both from an emotional and financial standpoint, a newly-single individual can face challenges and complications that weren’t anticipated. For example, parental relocation has numerous layers of difficulty that must be carefully worked through.

Before marriage or parental responsibilities, packing up and moving across the state or the nation only proved as complicated as your planning allowed it to be – securing a job, housing and a rental truck big enough to haul your life. With custody and visitation responsibilities, however, there are a multitude of legal and financial considerations to make.

Securing the court’s approval often relies on whether there is primary or joint custody.

Primary custody and relocation

Even with primary custody, the custodial parent simply can’t decide to move away on a whim. The Arkansas court will operate on the presumption that the move would bring an advantage to the child him or herself or the custodial parent. It is possible for the other parent to puncture this presumption, however, by arguing under several tenets, including:

  • The impact of the relocation on the visitation schedule and communication
  • The child’s wishes
  • The potentially negative impact on the child’s education, health and social activities
  • The loss of interaction with extended family

A strong enough argument on any of these fronts can force the court to reexamine the parental relocation.

Joint custody and relocation

If there is a joint custody arrangement in place, the court will make no presumption similar to that in a primary custody scenario. Both parents have an equal stake in the relocation from a custody standpoint and must work toward a compromise. As with most divorce negotiations, the court will approach any dispute from the perspective of what’s in the best interest of the child.

Having a skilled divorce attorney on your side can make all the difference in your situation. No matter the complexity of the issue you are facing, it is important to work with a lawyer who can provide the guidance you need.

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