Arkansas Parental Relocation Rules And Representation
After a divorce, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to relocate to a new location to seek new employment, relocate closer to immediate family or pursue a fresh start in a new location. When a parent with primary custody of minor children wishes to move to a new location, complications may arise. The non-custodial parent may find it difficult or impossible to assert his or her visitation rights if the custodial parent moves to a distant location.
According to child custody rules, the parent who wishes to move to a new location with minor children must typically petition a court to obtain approval for the move, unless the non-custodial parent is willing to consent to the move and agree to a modification of the existing court order. Non-custodial parents often oppose a relocation, as it may limit the time they have with their children.
Under a new Arkansas law enacted in 2021, there is now a rebuttable presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of a child. How will this impact parental relocation in your situation? Contact us for a consultation.
If you are a custodial parent or non-custodial parent involved in a relocation dispute, it is important that you consult with a family law attorney to determine how to best protect your rights. For help, contact Robertson, Oswalt, Nony & Associates. We represent parents who are seeking to move to a new location and clients who are seeking to oppose a relocation. With office locations in Little Rock, Benton and Heber Springs, we serve clients throughout Arkansas.
Factors That Are Considered With A Relocation
When determining whether to grant or deny a custodial parent’s request to move with minor children, a court will utilize the best interests of the child standard. If the court feels that a parent is moving solely for the purpose of punishing his or her former spouse or alienating a former spouse from his or her children, the court will likely deny the request for the move. If vital factors impacting the welfare of a child warrant a move, the court may grant the custodial parent’s request to relocate.
There are a wide number of factors that may impact the welfare of a child if a custodial parent moves to a new location, including:
- The impact on the child’s relationship with his or her non-custodial parent and any other family members who live in the current community
- The ability of the non-custodial parent to continue to have visitation with the child in conformity with the existing visitation schedule
- The impact on a child’s educational opportunities
- The financial impact of the move, including the opportunity for a custodial parent to obtain employment or a job promotion that may positively impact his or her ability to care for minor children.
If you are involved in a relocation dispute, let us put our experience to work for you. Our family law attorneys will take time to listen to you, understand how a move will impact you and your children, and make a compelling argument for or against a relocation on your behalf.