After an exhausting divorce battle, you may be ready to pack up all of your items, grab your children and move far away from your ex-spouse. Although relocating is an option, most of the time, when kids are involved, the custodial parent cannot move away without the other parent’s consent.

Why would you need your ex-spouse’s approval?

Relocating can make it more difficult for the other parent to see the children. Often, relocation is discussed before the custody agreement is made. Either the parents agree, or the family court judge decides that the custodial parent has to live within a particular area.

5 factors the judge will consider

If you did not discuss relocation in your child custody hearing, you will have to request permission from the court before relocating. The court will consider these 5 factors before making its final ruling.

  1. Both parents’ feelings about the relocation
  2. How relocating might affect the child’s relationship with their parents
  3. How the child’s life would be impacted by relocating
  4. How relocating will improve the child’s life
  5. The degree to which the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights will be impacted

Once the judge has weighed the options, he or she will make a decision. To fully answer the question above, you would not need your ex-spouse’s permission, but it is wise to seek written consent from the non-custodial parent. Otherwise, you will have to file a court order for permission to relocate.