Certain events are universally stressful for people, including divorce and moving. Thus, relocating after divorce can be especially challenging – particularly if you plan to relocate with your child.
If you are in this situation, you should understand what needs to happen to make this move safely and lawfully.
Determining if relocation is necessary
There are several reasons why parents might relocate after divorce. For instance, they could have a new job opportunity or want to move closer to family and a support system.
However, before you decide to relocate, think carefully about whether it is necessary and what it will mean for you and your child.
Consider options “outside the box.” Some jobs allow you to work remotely, and it could be possible to split your time between your current home and another residence. These are just a couple of ways you might be able to stay where you are without missing out on new opportunities.
If you decide that relocation is right for you and your family, you must secure permission to relocate with your child before moving.
Permission can come from the other parent with custodial rights or from the courts. In either case, per Virginia laws, you must provide written notification of your relocation intentions at least 30 days before your anticipated move.
If you do not receive permission to move with your child, you should put your plans on hold. Taking your child to another country or state without permission can result in severe penalties and endanger your child’s welfare.
A parent could still move without a child if he or she decides to do so.
Modifying a custody plan
Whether you move with or without your child, you may need to modify your custody plan.
Custody modification can be necessary when there is a material change in a child or parent’s circumstances. A parent moving 100 or more miles away can reflect this type of change.
Modifications might involve:
- Longer stays with each parent and less frequent exchanges
- Spending schoolyears with one parent and summers and other breaks with the other parent
- Travel allowances
- Changes to custody rights
Moving after divorce as a parent can undoubtedly be stressful. However, you can make the situation easier by knowing and complying with the laws.