If you and your ex-partner have children in common, you and that other person will likely be co-parenting that child together until the child’s 18th birthday – and maybe even longer than that. The key to successful co-parenting is a willingness to communicate with the other parent about issues and developments that pertain to the welfare of the child as well as those circumstances that can impact how the two of you will continue to co-parent. This means that, in most circumstances, the other parent of your child will need to be informed ahead of time if you plan to relocate.
Notice of Intent to Move
Whenever a significant move is planned – that is, you intend to move out of Ohio, to another city, or even across town – you will likely need to first file a notice with the court having jurisdiction over your child custody case. The notice should state where you are moving to and the date you anticipate accomplishing your move. You will not be permitted to move until (i) the other parent has had an opportunity to be heard as to his or her thoughts on the proposed move and (ii) the court has given you permission to move. This notice of intent needs to be filed far enough in advance of your anticipated move so that the court can hear the matter, if necessary.
Will the Court Grant My Request to Move?
The court will look at a number of factors in deciding whether to grant your request to move. The reasons for your anticipated move, the distance or difficulties this will create in permitting the other party reasonable access to the child, and the impact the move may have on the child’s best interests are all things the court will take into consideration. While a court will be hesitant to deny a requested move that would improve the requesting party’s job prospects or career, a court is also aware that permitting out-of-state relocations can make it financially and practically impossible for the non-moving parent to continue to see his or her child.
Does the Other Parent Have to Agree to the Move?
The other parent is given a chance to weigh in on his or her feelings about your proposed move, but his or her opinions will not control the court’s decision. That being said, if the other parent doesagree with your proposed move, the court will need to find some extraordinary reason in order to deny your requested move. Additionally, if you and the other parent have worked out a new parenting agreement, the court will almost certainly adopt that amended parenting agreement (with the understanding and belief that you and the other parent are in a better position to make arrangements and agreements that will work for both of you and for your child).
Cases of Domestic Abuse or Violence and/or Sole Custody are Handled Differently
In situations where you have sole custody of your child, or if the other parent has been violent or has threatened violence against you or your child, you may not need to provide notice of your intended move. Still, if at all possible you should at least consult with an attorney to discuss your situation and your anticipated move. Under certain circumstances, leaving Ohio or changing your address without informing either the court or the other party can end up causing you additional difficulties or trouble with the court.
Let Us Assist You with Your Post-Divorce Plans
Dawes Legal, LLC is available to help you accomplish a relocation or other major life change following a divorce where you and your ex-spouse have a child in common. Call our office at (614) 733-9999 so we can better learn about your needs and help craft a strategy for you.