Often, divorcees would like to relocate as part of their attempt to move on after divorce. However, that is not always easy, especially when children are involved. The custody agreement that was signed during the divorce proceedings can keep you and your child from moving to a different city or state. It is difficult to predict the future, and some parents may even need to move due to their work. If you do not know your rights as a divorced parent, it can prevent you from getting on with your life. The most important thing you can do is enlist the best family law attorneys possible. Consulting the child custody experts at Vayman & Teitelbaum can provide you with everything you need to know.
Burden of Proof: Bodne v. Bodne
The 2003 Georgia Supreme Court case, Bodne v. Bodne, changed custody cases when it came to divorced parents moving with a child. The case reversed the earlier rulings that the burden of proof for why a child should not be moved out of state be placed on the non-custodial parent. Now, the burden of proof is on the custodial parent, who must prove that a move away is a positive thing.
Some states are trying to make it easier for parents to relocate after a divorce, however, Georgia’s 2003 ruling has made it far more difficult.
Can I Move Out of State?
If a parent wants to take his or her child out of state, he or she must first notify the other parent in writing 30 days prior to the move. The other parent has 30 days to accept or block the relocation. The parent wanting to prevent the move out of state can do so with a court petition.
What Happens Next?
In Georgia, a judge cannot prevent a parent from moving out of state. However, the court can stop the child from going with the parent. The judge can change primary custody to the other parent, allowing the child to remain in the state of Georgia. Thanks to the 2003 ruling, the judge will weigh the interests of all parties involved with the case. The judge will determine whether the move suits the child. If it does not, the parent living in Georgia will receive primary custody.
What About the Child?
The court can take into consideration the child’s preference on where to live. By the time the child reaches 14, he or she can have much of the say on where he or she would like to live. Judges can overrule this opinion, however. As a child becomes a teenager, more of the decisions will be up to him or her. Therefore, parents will have less impact on the choosing of where to live.
So, Can I Move?
Currently, many of the divorces finalized in Georgia courts have decrees inserted that prevent parents from moving to another state with children. If the parent does plan to move, he or she must seek the permission of the non-custodial parent.
Vayman & Teitelbaum Can Help
The law firm of Vayman & Teitelbaum can provide you with legal guidance when it comes to child custody. With four locations in Georgia, Vayman & Teitelbaum, Attorneys at Law, is available to give you insight on moving after a divorce. Visit our dedicated divorce or child custody page to see how we can help you. If you have any questions, contact us and let our experienced attorneys in family law go to work for you.