Q: My husband wants to move across the country and take the children with him. I can’t quit my job and start over. What can I do?
A: With more than a million children affected by divorce each year, child custody issues are a major issue that seldom gets reported on in the news.
When it comes to custody issues, each state has different rules. Your first responsibility will be to find out what the law has to say about relocation issues. And then you will be looking at the child custody orders spelled out at the time of your divorce. Child custody orders are legally binding.
In a custody matter like this, the court will be interested in what is in the child’s best interest. In many states, even if you were not the custodial parent your children cannot be removed from the current state of residence without your permission.
On the other hand, if you are not the custodial parent for one reason or another, you will have to show the court why this move doesn’t benefit the children. It may even be an opportunity for you to regain custody. This means you will need to show you have been involved with your children all along and know their needs and interests.
No matter what happens, don’t panic. Keep an open mind. There are ways to stay connected from a distance. It is never ideal, but it could be worse.
When there is so much at stake it is important to be represented by an attorney in any hearing that involves relocation.