An array of circumstances might require you to relocate, such as getting a new job or marrying someone who lives out of state. While no person or law can stop you from moving, your ability to relocate your child may be limited if your co-parenting counterpart objects.
If you need to relocate with your child or your co-parent has advised you they intend to do so, a seasoned Stamford relocation lawyer can explain your legal options. Our team of child custody attorneys is experienced in family law and is available to assist you.
Before Connecticut passed the Relocation Act, custodial parents could move wherever they wanted with their children as long as it did not otherwise violate existing custody orders. In such scenarios, they did not have to give formal notice or gain permission from the co-parent. However, once the Act became law in 2016, parents desiring to relocate have faced a more significant challenge.
Currently, under Connecticut General Statutes §46b-56d, if a move would significantly impact an existing custody order or parenting plan, the relocating parent must prove that the relocation is for a legitimate purpose, is reasonable under the circumstances, and is in the child’s best interests. A knowledgeable attorney in Stamford can further explain these legal requirements and the relocating parent’s burden of proof.
When a parent’s relocation is far enough that an existing custody or visitation order is rendered unworkable, either parent may seek to modify the orders. However, a judge must first be convinced that revising the custody or visitation to allow for relocation is in the child’s best interests.
It can be challenging to prove that a move will benefit a child, especially if the relocation substantially decreases the other parent’s time with them. As such, a parent should have help from a seasoned lawyer familiar when pursuing a request to relocate in Stamford.
State law requires family court judges to consider various factors when deciding whether to grant a parent’s relocation request. Some of these include:
A judge can also consider how costly it will be for the non-relocating parent to visit the child and whether it will require air travel. The ability of co-parents to communicate effectively enough to schedule other means of contact, such as through Facetime, Skype, and email, will also factor into the analysis.
Because state law supports meaningful contact between a child and both parents, any action by one parent that might negatively affect the co-parent’s relationship with the child will be carefully scrutinized by a court and requires the moving parent to overcome a substantial evidentiary burden. Accordingly, a parent considering relocating is well-advised to seek counsel from a local lawyer as early in the process as possible.
Life can change quickly. As such, it is essential to ensure that your custody order reflects what is best for your child based on the current circumstances, particularly if you need to relocate away from the other parent.
If you need to move but are unsure of your legal rights, you may benefit by speaking with a dedicated Stamford relocation lawyer. Our experienced legal team will guide you through the relocation process and help ensure a smooth transition for you and your child. Call today to discuss your case.