As is often the case with legal questions, the answer is “it depends.” The determination of child custody is often one of the most acrimonious and difficult in a divorce or separation case. Often, a child may reside primarily with one parent while the other parent has visitation rights. In other cases, parents share physical custody of a child for predetermined periods of time. In our modern society, moving to a new city or even across is country has become common, but these moves obviously have significant implications when it comes to court ordered child custody arrangements. When a custody arrangement exists, the parent who wishes to relocate a child must first obtain the permission of a court with jurisdiction over their custody case. Because of the complicated legal issues that often arise in these cases, anyone who wishes to relocate or to stop the other parent from relocating with a child should discuss their situation with a Virginia child custody lawyer as soon as possible.
What is the Standard for Relocating a Child in Virginia?
A common theme in determining child custody arrangements is determining what type of arrangement would be in the best interest of the child. Cases regarding child relocation are no exception. In determining if a move is in the best interests of the child, a court will consider several factors, including the following:
- The effect the move will have of the relationship between the child and the non-custodial parent
- How much the proposed move would affect the non-custodial parent’s visitation with the child
- The reasons that the custodial parent wants to move, including proximity to other family members, opportunities for employment, and the economic stability of the parent
In addition, the court will consider the level of involvement the non-custodial parent has with the child. If there is little or no involvement, the court will likely conclude that the move will have little effect on the non-custodial parent’s relationship, and is therefore more likely to allow the move.
Contact a Virginia child custody lawyer today
If you are involved in a child relocation issue or any other matter regarding child custody, you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. To schedule a consultation with attorney Raymond B. Benzinger, call our office today at (703) 312-0410.