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Divorced? Better check state laws before relocating your children

On Behalf of | Jan 23, 2018 | Divorce |

When you divorced, you were determined to make your children’s best interests a central focus of the proceedings. You were proud of your children’s valiant efforts to come to terms with the situation, and you wanted to ensure them of your support. You also wanted to try to cause as little upheaval as possible in their young lives. You were greatly relieved when they were excited about your idea to move to a new home in Nebraska, a bit of a distance from where you live now.

As a custodial parent, you’re confident in your ability to provide for your kids and to make decisions on behalf of your family. You also realize there’s another parent involved, and most times, willingness to cooperate and compromise are key factors to avoiding parenting disputes. As for relocation, there may be existing regulations that determine how you go about bringing your plan to fruition.

Keeping these issues in mind may help you avoid legal problems

Each state governs child custody matters by its own guidelines. The following list includes general information that may apply to your situation:

  • It’s often possible to include an expressed consent clause in a divorce parenting plan. This typically occurs during proceedings when the court is making decisions regarding child custody and visitation issues. With an expressed consent agreement, you’d have the right to relocate at will.
  • Some states have regulations regarding relocation distances. For instance, you may be able to move anywhere within 50 miles but beyond that need to seek approval from the court. This is why it’s crucial to seek clarification of specific Nebraska laws ahead of time.
  • The court often gives non-custodial parents the right to consent or contest a custodial parent’s proposed relocation. To contest, non-custodial parents must file motions to try to prevent relocation.
  • The court may also ask you to provide good reason as to why you request permission to relocate your children, You might include issues such as job opportunities, the ability to live closer to extended family members, or the cost of living more feasible to your current financial situation.

Before you put a for sale sign in your front yard, be aware that the court may, in fact, require you to submit written notice ahead of time of your intentions to relocate your children. The time period for such notice could be anywhere from 30 to 60 days or more. The last thing you need is to run into legal challenges for violating a child custody regulation you didn’t know existed.

This is why reaching out for support before you actualize your plan is the best way to avoid negative surprises down the line. Many Nebraska parents turn to experienced family law attorneys for legal clarification and assistance with child custody relocation matters.