While navigating a divorce, parents will agree to terms concerning custody as well as parenting time. While it can take some time to grow accustomed to these arrangements, many parents eventually do. When one parent later has to move, however, it can become necessary to change these terms of the divorce settlement. As a result, parents are often left wondering if things can stay the same or if something must change.

The United States Census Bureau reports that the typical American moves more than 10 times in the course of his or her life. There are several reasons why Americans now move so many times, including finding new jobs, new romantic partners, and the desire to obtain a different type of housing. As a result, it is perhaps more important than ever for parents to understand how moving outside of the state can impact their families.

Short Moves by Parents With Visitation Rights

In the state of Georgia, a parent’s decision to move a short distance generally has little impact on the terms of custody or visitation rights. For example, if a parent relocates across the street or between counties in Georgia, the parent’s visitation rights will likely stay the same. While parents who move shorter distances often encounter fewer problems, parents who move larger distances can end up facing a variety of complications.

Parents With Visitation Rights Who Move Larger Distances

Law in Georgia prohibits either parent from relocating any child outside the state of Georgia or more than 50 miles away from the other parent without first obtaining permission from the parent or the court. It is also permissible to move a child if the parent is in fear of physical abuse. 

A parent who violates this prohibition can end up facing court sanctions and have parental rights taken away as well as end up facing fines and even imprisonment. This distance, however, does not refer to a 50-mile radius from the existing home. Instead, the distance to the other home is used. Parents who are moving longer distances must also provide advance notice. This means that even if a parent has been offered a great job or has a compelling reason to move more than 50 miles away, the court must first approve it.

The Possibility of Agreements

Many former spouses discover that the best solution when a move is involved is to establish an agreement between the two of them regarding the terms of when the child will be with each parent. If the move involves a substantial distance, the moving parent might give up some time with the child in exchange for the no-moving parent to permit the move. If these agreements are thought and address all potential concerns, they can be a great way to address the uncertainties that can arise between parents. 

Speak with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

Various factors can alter the terms of a divorce. If you need the assistance of an experienced family law attorney, do not hesitate to contact Vayman & Teitelbaum, P.C. today.