Relocation If You Share Custody
Relocation if you share custody can become very confusing and tedious. A lot depends on your specific case, and there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all explanation of how far you can move and how it affects custody. A judge will review your case and decide what is in the best interests of the child. There are a number of things they’ll look at to decide whether or not to modify custody. But more than anything, they consider what is ultimately best for your child or children. If you are considering a relocation and currently share custody, it’s a good idea to reach out to an experienced family attorney. They can help you take the next steps and decide whether or not you have a case for modifying your custody arrangement.
Legal Vs. Physical Custody
There are many different types of possible custody arrangements but the most important distinction is whether or not you share legal or physical custody. If you and your ex share physical custody, it means your children share their time living with each of you. This makes relocation much more difficult. In contrast, legal custody simply means that both you and your ex share in the decision-making process for any legal decisions about your children.
If you do share physical custody and are considering a relocation, you or your ex might want to modify your custody arrangement. The only way a court in NC will choose to modify custody is if you can prove that your circumstances have changed significantly and that a custody change will improve your child’s circumstances. For example, getting remarried or relocating doesn’t necessarily trigger a custody modification.
How Does a Judge Decide?
If you are seeking to take the children with you when you relocate, or if you want to modify custody to prevent your ex from taking the children, a judge will look at your case. They’ll look at the facts of the case and decide what’s in the best interest of your kids. For example, they’ll look at the reason for the relocation, whether the move is in good faith, and how the move might interfere with the other parent’s visitation.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that relocation is incredibly complicated when it involves shared custody. There are no set rules about when and how far a person can move away from their co-parent. At least not in North Carolina. Instead, a judge makes decisions on a case-by-case basis and only rules in the way that he or she thinks benefits the child the most.
If you are considering a relocation and you share custody, you might be looking at an extremely delicate situation. Whether you are wanting to move and take your children with you, or whether you are are trying to prevent an ex from taking children, modifying custody is not a simple task. Once a custody agreement is in place in North Carolina, it can be difficult to change it. You’ll need to prove that this relocations significantly affects your children, and let a judge weigh in on what the best arrangement might be. They’ll look at a myriad of different factors to decide whether or not they should modify custody for the sake of the relocation. Hopefully, you and your ex will be able to come to a solution that works for everybody in the family.