Moving out after a relationship ends is sometimes inevitable. Even though it is typically a good idea to remain in a shared home throughout the divorce or break up process, in certain circumstances, leaving the residence may be best for you and your family. If you find yourself forced to move into a new home, relocating with child custody in mind is always a good idea. Any parent who wants to share co-parenting equally with a former partner or receive primary custody should never move into a new home without considering how the location will affect the children or custody outcome.
Is your new home or apartment near your child’s current school? One thing the judge reviewing your case will focus on is the well-being of your child, and stability is often a factor in that decision. The possibility of your child transferring schools could negatively affect your custody bid. Few children want to leave their friends and educational support system if it is avoidable, and your ex or his or her attorney may use that hesitation to their advantage. Try to find a new home that is close to your child’s school and keeps them in their current school district.
Moving hours away from your former home or into another state can seriously impact your ability to spend time with your child or make it difficult for the noncustodial parent to visit. Remember, if you voluntarily move to a location that makes visitation difficult or expensive, you may find yourself bearing the brunt of these additional costs. More importantly, the other parent may accuse you of trying to come between him or her and your mutual children by making parenting time difficult or impossible to enjoy.
When child custody is involved, the time at which you decide to move can affect the way your move is perceived and received by other parties. Moving at the beginning of the custody process may lead to accusations of abandoning your children if they are not taken with you. If the children do move with you, your former partner may claim that you have taken the children away to cause harm to the parent and child relationship. In child custody disputes, timing often plays a large role in how the situation gets resolved.
Talk to an Attorney First
Prior to making any major decisions, it is best to talk to an attorney. Consulting a child custody attorney after the move is made is still advisable, but seeking legal advice in advance is better. An attorney can help you make an informed decision that protects your case and secures your parental rights. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are prepared to be your advocate during your child custody case. We will work with you to ensure that you are living in a safe and healthy environment without doing anything that could jeopardize your case. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation at one of our offices so that we can begin providing you with the assistance that you need.