Whether due to a job change, remarriage, or a need to care for an aging relative in another state, a parent may find themselves in the position of needing to move. However, before the parent can take their child with them, Connecticut law requires them to demonstrate the move is in their child’s best interests.
If you are a parent seeking to move or are facing the possibility of your child being moved away from you, a Guilford relocation lawyer can assist you by drafting the motion to relocate to submit to the court or the objection to the other parent’s request. Our firm’s caring child custody attorneys understand the stress relocation involving children can cause and will guide you through the legal process.
While Connecticut law does not prohibit a parent from relocating, it can restrict their ability to bring their child along with them. Where the relocation of the minor child would impact an existing court-ordered parenting plan, the parent seeking to move is mandated by statute to seek the court’s permission prior to moving the child. By requiring a parent to gain a judge’s permission before moving, the law provides the non-relocating parent an opportunity to object to the move and present their case in court.
When deciding upon a parent’s request to relocate, a family court judge must consider various factors under Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56d. These include:
To support their petition, a relocating parent has the burden to prove that their relocation is for a legitimate purpose, reasonable in light of the circumstances, and is in the child’s best interests. A lawyer in Guilford can further explain the move-away factors and how a judge determines a child’s best interests in relocation cases.
A parent seeking to prevent their child from moving with the other parent can object to the relocation request. To block the move, the non-relocating parent must demonstrate that the move would not benefit the child. For instance, the objecting parent can present evidence that the educational opportunities in the proposed location would not meet the child’s specific needs or that it would prohibit them from maintaining a meaningful relationship with the child.
Family judges carefully scrutinize any allegation that relocating a child would negatively impact the child’s relationship with the parent who is not moving. If a judge determines that the parent intending to relocate is doing so to spite the other parent, the court can award the child’s primary custody to the non-relocating parent. As such, the non-relocating parent may also successfully prevent the relocation by proving that the other parent’s primary motivation for the move is to limit the non-relocating parent’s visitation with the child.
In some situations, the non-relocating parent may not object to the move itself but rather to the proposed visitation arrangements after the relocation. For example, the parents may already live some distance apart, and the move may further complicate the transportation arrangements and expense. In this case, a capable attorney can help a Guilford parent revise their parenting plan to ensure maximum contact with the child and to also address the financial burden of exercising their parenting time after the move.
Moving can be an exciting time for parents and children alike. Unfortunately, relocation can also result in a child losing quality time with one of their parents, creating a complex legal situation for everyone involved.
If you need to move with your child, a seasoned Guilford relocation lawyer can assess your case and provide you with the available legal options. If you are a non-relocating parent, our dedicated legal team will advocate on your behalf to ensure that your rights to see your child are not compromised. Call us today to discuss your relocation request.