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What if I want to relocate with my child?

On Behalf of | May 26, 2020 | Legal Custody |

For a number of reasons, people in Arlington and the other Northern Virginia suburbs may need to move out of the area.

Sometimes, for instance, a great job opportunity comes up that offers a lot of promise for a family. In other cases, wanting to be closer to loved ones may be the prevailing consideration.

Those who are subject to child custody or parenting time orders because of a divorce or other family law proceeding should be aware that they may have special requirements to follow before they pack their bags and change locations.

For instance, Virginia law requires all custody and parenting time orders to include a provision which requires both parents to notify both the court and the other parent if they intend to move.

The notice ordinarily will need to be at least 30 days in advance, but the local court can decide how detailed of a notice the parent has to give. Parents can ask the court to dispense them from this requirement for a good reason. By way of example, if one parent committed domestic violence against the other, the court may choose not to disclose the new address.

Otherwise, a parent’s child custody and parenting time order will control. For instance, the order itself may explicitly state that the other parent has to agree to a move, or the order may say as much in so many words.

Without the other parent’s agreement, a parent wanting to move may well have to return to court. When deciding whether to allow a move, the court will consider whether the move is in the child’s best interests.

Among other factors, the court can consider the reasons for the proposed move and whether the other parent will still be able to have parenting time without too much additional hardship.


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