With many client divorces that we handle, we frequently see parents dealing with the difficult issue of how to relocate for a new job while also maintaining that connection with their child and not losing their parental rights. However, it is very important to be aware that relocating after divorce in the context of a custody issue is rarely simple, especially if that relocation involves a significant distance from the current residence and/or international relocation. Still, according to the law in Ohio, responsibilities with regards to the relocation of parents depend upon the circumstances involved.
Basic Requirements for Relocation
Under state law, if the parent deemed by the court to be the “residential parent” plans to move to a new residence other than the one specified in either the parenting order or the decree of the court, that parent must file a notice of intent to relocate with the court that originally entered into the order or decree. The court then sends a copy of the notice to the other child’s parent, and may decide to schedule a hearing to determine whether potentially revising the parenting time schedules might be in the best interests of the child.
The other parent does have the right to file an objection to the proposed relocation when they are served with that notice. However, it is important to note that, under certain circumstances (such as when a parent has been convicted or plead guilty to certain violations), the law indicates that the other parent will not be given a copy of any notice of relocation (unless the court determines that it is in the child’s best interest to still provide that notice to the other parent, regardless of the violation).
Best Interests of the Child
The court takes into account numerous factors in deciding what is in the best interests of the child in the event of a proposed relocation. Some of those factors include:
- The reason for the proposed move;
- The distance it involves;
- Whether/how it will impact the child’s relationship with any relevant extended family members;
- The child’s relationship with the parent who is not proposing the move; and
- How well the two parents communicate with each other (amongst several other factors).
Child Custody Attorneys Who Care
It is always best to work with your child’s other parent amicably when it comes to parenting decisions. Show reverence for how important it is that your child–under most circumstances–spends quality time with each parent. However, a relocation is going to impact your family in some way, regardless of how much cooperation there is between the parents.
If a relocation appears to be unavoidable due to economic or other reasons for your family, you will likely need to assistance of an experienced family law attorney to help you work out the details while you ensure the preservation of your parental rights. At the Comunale Law Office, we are here to help you do just that. Contact our office today for a free case evaluation and we can get started helping you.