Parents living apart often invest considerable time and energy in their relationships with their children. When one parent decides to move away and take the children with them, the potential consequences could be devastating. In other cases, parents can find a way to make a long-distance relationship with their children work.

Consult a Fairfield relocation lawyer if you want to move away with the children, or if you are the parent who might be left behind. One of our skilled child custody attorneys can help you develop and implement an effective strategy to achieve your desired legal outcome.

Legal Procedures When Relocation Is a Possibility

When a judge issues the parental responsibility plan, the plan is an enforceable order, and parents cannot change it without permission. When one parent wants to relocate and take the children, they must seek the judge’s approval to modify the plan.

When the parents agree to a move, they can make appropriate revisions to their parenting plan. An attorney in Fairfield can help them incorporate the change in location and submit it to the judge for approval. Parents should be aware that even if they agree to relocation, a judge could decide it is not in the children’s interests and block the move.

When parents do not agree, the parent who wants to relocate must bring a petition in court seeking judicial approval for the move. The parent who wants to move must prove the move will benefit the children and their motives for moving are related to a genuine desire to improve the family’s circumstances and not to deprive the co-parent of access to the children.

The Children’s Interests Are the Judge’s Primary Concern

Anytime a judge must decide on an issue impacting children, their best interest is the overriding concern. The law favors stability for children after a divorce, and the parent seeking relocation must present a compelling case that the move will benefit them, which is where a Fairfield lawyer can be beneficial.

Connecticut General Statutes § 46b-56d describes factors a judge must consider when deciding relocation requests. When looking at how the move might impact the children, the court will evaluate their relationship with the parent left behind and how it might be affected. If the parent does not see the children often or has no significant involvement in their lives day-to-day, relocation might not be disruptive to the relationship. If the children are used to being with the parent left behind, a judge must assess how the change will impact them.

The court will also consider the effect of the move on the children’s education, health, family relationships, and overall wellbeing, including their financial security. The judge must also evaluate the requesting parent’s reasons for desiring a move and if the other parent opposes it, their motivations.

Consequences of the Judge’s Decision

If a judge approves a relocation, the court will issue an order with a revised parenting plan. The plan could be one the parents agreed on, the relocating parent’s preferred plan, or a plan the judge developed on their own initiative. The revised plan is an enforceable order and parents must adhere to it.

A judge can reject a relocation if they do not believe the benefits to the children outweigh the negative impacts. In that case, the parent who wants to move could either go without the children or cancel their plans to relocate. An attorney in Fairfield can advise a parent about their legal options if the judge rejects their petition to relocate.

If the parent chooses to move without the children, the parents must revise their current parenting plan and submit it to the judge. Parents always must follow the parenting plan that is currently in effect until the judge issues a new order.

Consult a Fairfield Attorney For Advice on Relocation Issues

Parents are often looking for a fresh start after a breakup or divorce, but their children’s needs must come first. A judge will not allow relocation unless a parent can convince them that it is in the children’s best interests.

Reach out to a Fairfield relocation lawyer when you or your co-parent wants to move away and bring the children. We can advocate for your rights and ensure you achieve the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Call today.

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1305 Post Road, Suite 205 Fairfield CT 06824 (203) 990-1387