Custodial Parent Moving out of State

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What Is a Custodial Parent?

The custodial parent is the parent who has been granted a majority of time and rights in terms of child custody. This is the parent with whom the child spends most of their time. The custodial parent, or primary custodial parent, usually also has legal custody of the child, which means that they are authorized to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. The other parent is often called the “non-custodial parent.”

The term "custodial parent" can also refer to a parent who has sole custody of the child. Terms and designations for child custody purposes can also vary by state or local jurisdiction.

Can the Custodial Parent Move out of State and Bring the Child with Them?

In most cases, the custodial parent needs to obtain permission from the court if they will be relocating to another state and bringing the child with them. This is because such a move can be disruptive for the child’s upbringing, especially if the move will affect the child’s access to a non-custodial parent.

This may require a modification of a child custody order or visitation schedule. The parent seeking the modification will need to file a request with the court. The court would need to review the request as well as the reasons for the move. After analyzing the situation, the judge may approve the request and issue a new, modified child custody order.

What about Relocation to Another Country?

Relocation of the custodial parent to another country is also possible. Again, the custodial parent would need to file a petition with the court to have the custody order modified. The court would then review the factors and would need to approve any decisions before a move can be made.

Similarly, an adjustment may be needed if the parent is relocating to a closer location, such as an in-state relocation. This depends on the facts of the case as well as the child’s needs. For instance, a modification may be needed even for a closer relocation if the child has special medical or physical needs.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Child Custody Matters?

Child custody matters may require the assistance of a qualified family law attorney. You may need to hire a lawyer in your area if you need any help with child custody laws or issues. Your attorney can provide you with advice, legal representation, and information to help with your situation. Also, if you need to have a custody order modified, your attorney can assist with that process as well.

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Last Modified: 07-16-2014 11:59 AM PDT

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