As many as 25% of custodial parents move away from their communities within two years after getting a divorce, according to parenting experts. As long as both parents agree, relocating to start a new life isn’t usually a problem. But a modification of any custodial order may still be required.
When a child custody order exists, a new court order must be entered allowing the minor child to move to a new state, or another North Carolina region if it would alter the court-ordered custodial arrangement, even if the other parent is on board with the move.
Changing the Terms of Custody
If the noncustodial parent agrees, you need to have a new order entered (possibly by consent without a court appearance), so that the custody agreement reflects those changes.
However, if the other parent opposes the move or disagrees about visitation, a court hearing will need to be scheduled to determine whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances warranting modification; and if so, whether the move is in the child’s best interest. Note that court proceedings could be delayed due to a backlogged court calendar caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What to Expect at a Hearing
As stated above, the court generally rules based on the child’s best interests, so expect the judge to ask pointed questions over:
- Has there been a substantial change affecting the welfare of the minor child which warrants a modification of the existing custody order?
- The reasons for the move.
- How the change will impact your child’s life?
- Whether a realistic visitation schedule is possible.
- Your intent to fully comply with the revised custody and visitation order.
- The other parent’s objections and arguments against the move.
In addition, the judge will likely want to know how you plan to handle birthdays, holidays, and other important occasions as well as how your child will maintain consistent contact with the other parent.
Be Sure it’s the Right Move
Many divorced parents move for new economic opportunities or to be closer to family for additional financial and emotional support. Even if the other parent agrees, challenges may exist for convincing your child to move away from the other parent as well as their friends and activities.
Younger kids may be more resilient to change than teenagers, but keeping them in the loop, informing them of your reasons for moving, and listening to their concerns can help them deal with another significant change in their life.
Contact A Divorce Lawyer in Charlotte, NC Today
If you are considering moving after a divorce, contact a Charlotte, NC divorce lawyer today. An experienced Charlotte, NC divorce lawyer can be the difference between having a judge ruling in your favor or giving custody to the other parent. Don’t try to handle it alone. You need someone by your side who can help you and your child live the life that you both deserve. Contact a skilled Charlotte divorce attorney today to schedule your consultation.
Brandon double-majored in Political Science and Criminal Justice at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He earned his Juris Doctor from Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida. Throughout his career, Brandon has received numerous awards and recognition from his peers and agencies that rate attorneys. A few of these awards are from The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyer in 2014, The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 in 2014, Nation’s Top One Percent: National Association of Distinguished Counsel in 2015, Super Lawyers: Rising Stars in 2018 and 2019, and North Carolina Business Magazine: Legal Elite in 2019, among others.