Relocating with Children Out of State: The Risks

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Relocation on Friday, August 29, 2014.

A parent who wants to child custody with their child out of town, or out of state, creates special risks to the relationship between the child and the parent who stays. What are some of the risks in a typical move-away case?

I’ve written about relocations before. One of the first things to consider is the age of the child. For example, younger children may have a problem with the emotional and physical consequences of losing their bonds with their mom or dad. For older children, losing their friends, sports or school buddies is a bigger concern.

Another problem is the location of the new home. If the distance and travel time are far enough away, there could be a risk that the non-moving parent may just lose contact or that drop their involvement in their child’s life.

Another area of a risk of problems depends on the child’s own individual personality. Boys have been known to have behavioral problems. Children with higher cognitive ability may adjust better than others.

A big risk concerns the alienating parent who tries to limit contacts, inhibit information regarding the children, makes derogatory remarks. The more likely a parent tries to alienate another parent before moving, the greater the risk relocation may harm the child more.

Some parents move away in good faith. For instance, they have a new job offer, or they’ve met someone new and are getting married. That’s not always the cases.

Some parents try to relocate in bad faith: they think of relocation as a way to interfere with the relationship between the children and the non-moving parent.

Relocation issues do not always appear in a cut-and-dried manner. Sometimes it is difficult to tell if relocation is in bad faith, or even if it’s in good faith, the relocation is in the child’s best interest. Some of the risk factors identified in this post can help determine if relocation will be in the child’s best interest.