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Relocation for a new job and your child custody agreement

Let us say you have been divorced for three years. Your son Michael is 10 years old now. Although he resides with the other parent, the two of you enjoy spending time together.

Your current child custody arrangement has worked well, but change happens. You are in line for a new job with better pay, but it involves relocation. Will the court approve custody agreement modification?

Reasons for child custody agreement modification

The court will consider several kinds of requests for child custody agreement modification. For example, one parent may request a change if the other parent ignores the visitation schedule agreed upon at the time of divorce. In this case, the judge would consider the reasons for non-compliance and how well the parents communicate about the issue. Another modification petition may involve the fear of child endangerment due to domestic violence. In your case, the court must consider the answers to several questions about your proposed relocation and your son’s best interests.

About best interests

The matter of Michael’s best interests become top of mind for the court in determining whether to approve child custody agreement modification due to your relocation for a new job. Here are some of the matters the judge will weigh:

  •         Your motivation for relocating
  •         How relocation affects the visitation schedule
  •         Whether you and the other parent have devised a way to rework the visitation schedule
  •         How disruptive this will be to your son’s life

Keep in mind that in a child custody agreement modification case, the court gives considerable attention to the child’s stability and his need to have contact with both parents.

Looking ahead

You must provide sufficient evidence to support your request as it pertains to relocation. Prepare to present evidence, such as a letter from your employer, confirming the offer of a new position and subsequent need for the move. Rely on recommendations from your attorney, who will assist with the necessary filings and court appearances to ensure your petition for modification's success.

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