After divorce, parents consider relocation for countless reasons. Whether it is due to job responsibilities, housing opportunities or to move closer to family, a divorced parent might need to move hundreds of miles away. Unfortunately, there are several factors to consider before the court will approve such a change in child custody including whether the relocation is due to military service.
If the custodial agreement has been drafted and approved by both parties, a legal process must be followed for any type of revisions. Additionally, if the original divorce order was drafted without a provision specifically related to military relocation several legal steps must be taken.
It is important to remember four points about parental relocation:
- Custody arrangements are generally subject to individual state laws rather than federal laws or military oversight.
- The court will decide regarding your request for permission to relocate based on these state laws.
- Before deciding, the court will likely have to be shown how the relocation will benefit the child.
- Certain states might prohibit any relocation without compelling evidence.
Many states recognize the challenge that parents in the military might face after divorce. Certain states include special provisions for military service members regarding divorce order modification and relocation. Even if certain issues are addressed during the divorce process, it is not uncommon for adjustments to become necessary in the future.
Many individuals cause unnecessary complications in attempting to work out modifications with their spouse outside the legal process. These verbal agreements are not legally binding and, therefore, not enforceable. It is wise to discuss your specific needs and goals with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance.