We Help When a Custodial Parent Wants to Relocate the Child

Helping keep the focus on your children’s welfare

After parents divorce, the parent with physical custody of the children may eventually want to relocate to another city or state for employment, educational or other reasons.  This jeopardizes the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights.  At the same time, however, the move may be necessary for the custodial parent.  To resolve the parents’ conflicting interests — and, most important, to serve the best interests of the children — guidance from an experienced family lawyer is called for. At the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, we have experience representing custodial and noncustodial parents who found themselves in this situation.

Rules for relocation during a divorce in Maryland

The issue arises not just after the divorce. One spouse moving during a divorce is increasingly common, in part because of the unstable U.S. job market and in part because some divorce cases go on for years before they are resolved. If child custody is an issue in your divorce, Maryland law requires you to give 90 days’ notice to your spouse and to the court of your intention to move out of the jurisdiction.

If you need to move immediately and cannot give 90 days’ notice, the court will consider how the relocation will affect your children and can adjust custody accordingly. The court will want to know your reasons for relocating. Are you moving because of urgent circumstances? Because of financial need? When did you find out you needed to move? Did you alert the court immediately? Or did you intentionally wait as long as possible to catch your spouse off guard?

Is the move in the best interest of your child?

When an ex-spouse’s proposed relocation would affect child visitation, Maryland courts ask whether the move would be in your child’s best interest. The court is more likely to look favorably on a move if the parent is relocating for a better paying job, a better school district or a safer neighborhood. These reasons all hold a clear benefit for the child. The court is going to look less favorably on a move that serves only the parent’s interests, such as relocating to be near a new paramour.

In virtually all cases, relocation is a difficult family law issue that requires the assistance of an attorney who can help devise alternative custody and visitation arrangements that accommodate the needs of both parents and, most important, of the child.

Consult our Maryland custody and visitation attorney today

At the Law Offices of Ellen L. Lee, we find solutions to child custody and visitation problems that may at first seem insolvable. Learn more about our services by calling 301-417-5351 or contact our firm online. Conveniently located two blocks from the Rockville Courthouse, our law office serves clients in Montgomery County and throughout Maryland. We also have a satellite office in Bethesda.